Vitra Retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

By Malgorzata


Switzerland might be best known for its chocolate and the world’s most reliable watches, but design connoisseurs also revere it as the home of Vitra, the iconic interior design, furniture and accessories brand. From now through April next year, the Philadelphia Museum of Art pays homage to Vitra and the role that America has played in it.

vitra dolls

Above: Wooden Dools by Alexander Girard, 1953


Established in 1950, the innovative furniture and accessories company offers inspiring design solutions for home and offices. Their ongoing collaborations with international designers include world’s most influential names, from Verner Panton to Philippe Starck and in the architecture realm, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid, to name a few. In 1957 Vitra put roots down in the US in a licensing agreement with Herman Miller that sought to bring designs to the European market. These included the works of American designers George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames, whose design philosophy left a profound and lasting impact on Vitra.


Above: Panton Chair Classic by Verner Panton, 1959/1960

Philadelphia’s Museum of Art’s show, “Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots,” looks at these influences and illustrates the story of its path to success. The exhibition not only presents the brand’s furniture and design objects, drawings and material studies, but also illustrates some of Vitra’s concepts like Vitra Campus, research, communication methods, and its approach towards designers and consumers. It’s definitely a must-see for all those who appreciate the beauty and functionality of Vitra objects.


Above:  Museum of Art, Philadelphia

Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Until April 26, 2015



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