On Collecting Plywood Furniture

‘Plywood,’ suggests Christopher Wilk in the introduction to his fascinating publication ‘is a material that is widely known yet, remarkably, little understood.’ To celebrate and honor Wilk’s extraordinarily intriguing exhibition Plywood: Material of the Modern World, which was recently closed and which I have visited at the V&A this summer, today’s session in the program Collecting Design: History, Collections Highlights was devoted to this single material, or process I should say, which has come to shape design vocabulary in the postwar years. James Zemaitis, curator, writer, expert in 20th-century design, and a passionate, charismatic lecturer was the guest speaker in the class this morning. In his fine presentation, Zemaitisi illuminated those design icons which were made of plywood and addressed notions of rarity, condition, design quality, manufacturers, and provenance. Among the pieces discussed are those created by Verner Panton, Alval Aalto, Ray and Charles Eames, Grete Jalk, and Marcel Breuer. Thank you, James Zemaitis for enriching our knowledge and for highlighting key issues related to design connoisseurship and collecting. Above: Michael Table by Ali Tayar, courtesy R & Company
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Verner Panton, courtesy Modernity Gallery

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Alvar Aalto, Courtesy Wright

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Marcel Breuer, courtesy Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers of Fine Art

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Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, Courtesy Wright

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Grete Jalk

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Sori Yanagi

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