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Miniatures Collection

Vitra Design Museum, 1820 - 2008

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The collection of the Vitra Design Museum ranks among the most important holdings of furniture design worldwide. It contains some 7000 pieces of furniture, over 1000 lighting objects, and numerous archives, as well as the estates of such designers as Charles and Ray Eames, Verner Panton, and Alexander Girard.

Although the main museum building by Frank Gehry from 1989 was originally conceived to house the collection, the museum utilises the space to stage major temporary exhibitions. To date, the museum’s collection has never been on permanent display.

For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design from its collection. The Miniatures Collection encapsulates the entire history of industrial furniture design – moving from Historicism and Art Nouveau to the New Objectivity of Bauhaus and Radical Design, and from Postmodernism all the way up to the present day.

Exactly one sixth of the size of the historical originals, the chairs are all true to scale and precisely recreate the smallest details of construction, material and colour. The high standard of authenticity even extends to the natural grain of the wood, the reproduction of screws and the elaborate handicraft techniques involved. This has made the miniatures into popular collector's items as well as ideal illustrative material for universities, design schools and architects.

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