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International Decorative Art

Butterfly Stool

Butterfly Stool

Design Date
1956

Designer
Sori Yanagi (1915–2011, Japanese)

Manufacturer
Tendo Company, Ltd., Toyko, Japan

Media
plywood with rosewood veneer and metal

Dimensions
15 1/2 x 16 5/8 x 12 1/8 inches

Sori Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool unites Eastern and Western design in a molded plywood stool that can be easily disassembled. The stool is an ususual seating form in traditional Japanese culture where sitting on the floor is common. This stool also uses the bent plywood technique developed in the West. The shape of the stool, which recalls the gate to a Japanese Shinto shrine, reflects its Asian heritage. Yanagi took a spiritual, Eastern philosophies-inspired approach to design, declaring that “basic concepts and beautiful forms do not come from the drawing board alone.” He observed forms in nature and in the cultures that surrounded him for inspiration. From 1940 to 1942, Yanagi was an assistant to Charlotte Perriand, a frequent collaborator of Le Corbusier.

Not currently on view

Markings
Oval-shaped brown and gold foil sticker in Japanese on underside

Credit Line
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number
2013.0194

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