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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1956

  • Work on this object began.

2016

2019

  • You found it!

Price Tower Coffee Table, 1956

This is a Coffee table. It is dated 1956. Its medium is bleached mahogany, copper, aluminum. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

“The skyscraper now belongs in small communities rather than in the huge cities,” said Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956 on the occasion of the building of his tallest project, the nineteen-story Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The building is a cantilevered steel building lodged in concrete. Its overall design is based on a diamond parallelogram module of four 30 degree and 60 degree triangles, and this play of angular shapes is used throughout the tower. A geometric design of stamped copper plates and tinted glass surrounds the building’s exterior. At Harold Price’s request, Wright designed all of the furniture and textiles for the tower, which had both built-in furniture and freestanding pieces. For most of the tower’s furniture—for both its offices and apartments—Wright incorporated copper and aluminum. The use of copper on the tower’s exterior and on its furnishings signify Wright’s idea of continuity between a building’s interior and exterior. Copper is used in all three of these of pieces. Metallic surfaces also featured in aluminum or brass trim, such as seen on the coffee table. Both tables and the stool have sharp angles and the smaller table’s trapezoidal shape reflects the sectioning used in the building’s floor plan. Wright’s varied and repeated use of angular shapes in his career after the 1930s is well documented. The wide proportions and parallel placement of shelves on the coffee table recall the projecting eaves of Wright's Prarie School houses.

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

  • Desk (Japan)
  • wood.
  • Gift of Tetsuzo Inumaru.
  • 1968-137-2-a,b

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

  • Table, End
  • wood.
  • Gift of James M. Osborn.
  • 1969-97-2

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 38.1 × 97.8 × 97.8 cm (15 in. × 38 1/2 in. × 38 1/2 in.)

It has the following markings

Bar code sticker 00062277.

Cite this object as

Price Tower Coffee Table, 1956; bleached mahogany, copper, aluminum; H x W x D: 38.1 × 97.8 × 97.8 cm (15 in. × 38 1/2 in. × 38 1/2 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-66

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/404734463/ |title=Price Tower Coffee Table, 1956 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 May 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>