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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1986

  • Work on this object began.

2016

2019

  • You found it!

Efira Bowl, 1986

This is a Bowl. It was designed by Ettore Sottsass and made for Memphis. It is dated 1986. Its medium is blown glass, sheet glass, brass wire. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The Efira Bowl is one of a limited edition (of seven) designed by Ettore Sottsass, who is widely considered to be the founder of post-modernism. Sottsass began his work with glass in 1948 and continued into the late 1990s. He created designs for the Murano companies SALIR, Vistosi, and Venini, and he is especially well known for the series he produced in the early 1980s for Toso Vetri d’Arte, which includes the Efira Bowl. The debut of Memphis was a turning point in modern design. With its launch, the company introduced an updated figurative language and a new iconography, based on cultural areas that were still in growth, such as popular urban culture and the suburbia of social outcasts; the appearance of the designs specifically addresses perception of forms, colors, materials, and volumes. Although the designs of the company were based on undercurrents that had been in existence for some time, the first Memphis exhibition caught the design world by surprise, and marked the debut of post-modernism. In the mid-to late 1980s, Memphis produced a series of blown glass objects, in collaboration with Toso Vetri d’Arte in Murano, Venice. In addition to the Efira bowl, the objects included Arianna and Fililla, Cleistra and Maia, and Malide and Astidamia. With the exception of Malide and Astimadia, the objects rely on the same techniques of blown glass and sheet glass assembled together with hot techniques, with some pieces being suspended by brass wire. This piece's formal arrangement suggests a three-dimensional collage and is evocative of the layering of shapes and colors that characterized much of Memphis's creative output.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x diam.: 48.3 × 33.7 cm (19 in. × 13 1/4 in.)

It has the following markings

Incised signature at edge: E. Sottsass by Toso Vetri D'Arte Prova D'Autore (artist's proof)

Cite this object as

Efira Bowl, 1986; Designed by Ettore Sottsass (Italian, 1917–2007); blown glass, sheet glass, brass wire; H x diam.: 48.3 × 33.7 cm (19 in. × 13 1/4 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-74-a/g

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Energizing the Everyday: Gifts From the George R. Kravis II Collection.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/404734485/ |title=Efira Bowl, 1986 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=17 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>