Lot 147
  • 147

SHIRO KURAMATA | Miss Blanche chair, designed in 1988

220,000 - 280,000 EUR
267,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Miss Blanche chair, designed in 1988
  • Manufactured by Ishimaru Co. Ltd, from the edition of 56
  • 88,6 x 63 x 60 cm ; 34 7/8 x 24 3/4 x 23 5/8 in.
acrylic, artificial roses and anodised aluminium


Galerie Yves Gastou, Paris
Private collection, Paris


Matthias Dietz, Japan Design, Cologne, 1992, pp. 74-75
Shiro Kuramata: 1934-1991, exhibition catalogue, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, June 29 - September 23, 1996, pp. 26-27, 39-40, 48, 187 and 192
100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection, exhibition catalogue, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein,  July 10, 1995 - January 21, 1996, cover and pp. 179 and 204-205
Ettore Sottsass, "Une mostra dedicata a Shiro Kuramata", Domus, December 1996, p. 56
Design Contre Design: Deux siècles de créations, exhibition catalogue, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, September 26, 2007 - January 7, 2008, p. 301
Anne Bony, Meubles et Décors Des Années 80, Paris, 2010, p. 154
Shiro Kuramata and Ettore Sottsass, exhibition catalogue, 21_21 Design Sight, Tokyo, February 2 - May 8, 2011, p. 68 for a drawing and pp. 69, 208 and 211
Deyan Sudjic, Shiro Kuramata: Essays and Writings, London, 2013, pp. 77 and 104-105
Deyan Sudjic, Shiro Kuramata: Catalogue of Works, London, 2013, p. 362

Catalogue Note

Named for the famous Blanche Dubois from Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire, Shiro Kuramata's iconic Miss Blanche armchair was first exhibited at the KAGU exhibition, held during the Tokyo Designer's Week at Axis Gallery Annex in 1988, a year before its Paris debut at Galerie Yves Gastou in 1989, where the present lot was purchased.  Kuramata had envisioned exhibiting the chair in Paris from the early stages of 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 unequivocal success, with every piece, including the prototypes, finding buyers. 
The technicalities involved in the production of Miss Blanche were complex: the design required each artificial rose to 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 " has to be fake [materials] because Blanche Dubois is a fake."

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.