Lot 161
  • 161

Shiro Kuramata

150,000 - 200,000 GBP
269,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • 'Miss Blanche' Chair, designed 1988, executed 1989
  • from the edition of 56
  • acrylic, artificial flowers, anodised aluminium
produced by Ishimaru Co., Ltd
acrylic, artificial roses, anodised aluminium


Galerie Yves Gastou, Paris
Private Collection, France, 1989
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Paris, Galerie Yves Gastou, 'Shiro Kuramata', 8-20 November, 1989


Matthias Dietz, Japan Design, Cologne, 1992, pp. 74-75
Pierre Kjellberg, ed, Le Mobilier du XXe Siècle: Dictionnaire des Créateurs, Paris, 1994, p. 349
Makoto Uyeda, ed., Shiro Kuramata: 1934-1991, exh. cat., Tokyo, 1996, pp. 26-27, 39-40, no.1, p. 48, 187, no. 8, p. 192, no. 4
Alexander von Vegesack, et al., 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection, exh. cat., Weil am Rhein, 1996, cover, pp. 179, 204-205
Domus, no. 788, December, 1996, p. 56
Charlotte & Peter Fiell, eds, 1000 Chairs, Cologne, 2000, p. 599
Jean-Louis Gaillemin, ed., Design Contre Design: Deux siècles de créations, exh, cat., Paris, 2007, p. 301
Anne Bony, Meubles et Décors Des Années 80, Paris, 2010, p. 154
Shiro Kuramata and Ettore Sottsass, exh. cat., Tokyo, 2010, p. 68 for a drawing, pp. 69, 208, 211, no. 27
Deyan Sudjic, Shiro Kuramata: Essays and Writings, London, 2013, pp. 77, 104-105 
Deyan Sudjic, Shiro Kuramata: Catalogue of Works, London, 2013, p. 362, no. 541

Catalogue Note

Named after the famed Blanche Dubois from Tennessee William’s play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Shiro Kuramata’s iconic ‘Miss Blanche’ chair was first exhibited at the exhibition KAGU, held during Tokyo Designer’s Week at Axis Gallery Annex in 1988, a year before its Paris debut at Galerie Yves Gastou in 1989, from where the offered lot was purchased.  Kuramata had envisioned exhibiting the chair in Paris during the design process: ‘Take this chair [Miss Blanche]: I was determined from the start to bring it to Paris. That’s what inspired me… Don’t look for logic. It comes from an image – the one of France, or Europe – that I made for myself. It’s a feeling.’   The exhibition was an unqualified success, with every piece, including the prototypes, finding buyers.  

The technicalities involved in the production of ‘Miss Blanche’ were complex: the design required that each artificial rose be held in place for extended periods of time until the resin had hardened sufficiently. Experiments with natural roses were conducted, but the flowers would burn up in the acrylic resin, prompting a serendipitous moment when Kuramata decided ‘...it has to be fake [materials] because Blanche Dubois is a fake.’ 

Reflecting the age at the time of his death in 1991, only 56 models of ‘Miss Blanche’ were produced.  Versions of the chair are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Vitra Design Museum.