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Carlton Room Divider, 1981

This is a Room divider. It was designed by Ettore Sottsass and manufactured by Memphis. It is dated 1981 and we acquired it in 1986. Its medium is wood, plastic laminate, metal. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The Carlton room divider and cabinet was one of the first pieces Ettore Sottsass created for the international experimental design group he co-founded, Memphis, in 1981. It illustrates the decade’s postmodern movement, which strove to upend the dogmas of modernism. Where modernism was functional, postmodernism was not—Carlton is practically useless as a cabinet, blurring boundaries between “design” and “art.” Memphis embraced diversity, irony, and wit rather than universal, rational answers.

It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisition Endowment.

  • Bowl (Germany), 1981
  • kiln-formed fused glass.
  • This acquisition made possible through Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation.
  • 1983-11-1

Our curators have highlighted 10 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Efira Bowl, 1986
  • blown glass, sheet glass, brass wire.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2018-22-74-a/g

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 196 × 186.5 × 32.5 cm (6 ft. 5 3/16 in. × 6 ft. 1 7/16 in. × 12 13/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Carlton Room Divider, 1981; Designed by Ettore Sottsass (Italian, 1917–2007); Italy; wood, plastic laminate, metal; H x W x D: 196 × 186.5 × 32.5 cm (6 ft. 5 3/16 in. × 6 ft. 1 7/16 in. × 12 13/16 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisition Endowment; 1986-4-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

The Conservation department has taken one photo of this object.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Carlton Room Divider, 1981 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=16 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>