Vitra Design Museum, a tribute to Eames, Girard and other design icons

Today's post is prepared in collaboration with a good friend of mine, a U.S. journalist who is traveling throughout Europe for most of October on a fellowship.

Quite coincidentally for me, my friend's fellowship included a stop at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. My friend, Elizabeth Aguilera, e-mailed me a photo today that she took while touring the site with other colleagues from the Marshall Memorial Fellowship. The photo was such delicious eye candy that I scurried to the computer to find out more about this cultural institution.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Aguilera

The museum has a broad range of holdings, but specializes in furniture and interior design dating from the early 1900s to the present. The museum's collections include work by some of the biggest names in design. You may know some of them. Ray and Charles Eames. Vernon Panton. Isamu Noguchi. Alexander Girard.

I can only imagine how exciting and interesting it was for my friend Elizabeth to see the work of such design giants up close. Clearly, their influence is evident today. One of the reasons I was so drawn to the photo above is that it looked like a room straight out of a magazine today.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Aguilera

Take a look at the design on the ottoman. My friend and I both love it. It reminds me of wallpaper for some reason, but is quite stunning on this large ottoman.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Aguilera

The Vitra Design Museum is located just outside Basel, Switzerland, and is part of a complex of architecturally innovative buildings.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Aguilera

The complex includes the first building in Europe designed by Frank O. Gehry.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Aguilera

Let's go inside the museum and take a look at some of the photos taken by my friend Elizabeth, who so graciously agreed to let me share them with you. As you can see, there are many design elements housed in the museum that we continue to see in many of today's homes, from those we see in magazines like Elle Decor to blogs like Apartment Therapy.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Aguilera

I'm guessing the above is an example of the work of Alexander Girard, who is known for his whimsical designs.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Aguilera

These sculptural lamps lend such an ethereal air to a room.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Aguilera

These clocks are further proof that classic design can be found in utilitarian items. Hopping around on the Internet, I further discovered that the Vitra Design Museum was the offspring of the Vitra Company, an international furniture-manufacturing company based in Switzerland that was founded as a family-run business in 1950. Today, it has separate companies in more than a dozen countries.


I was fascinated by all this history, but was further drawn in by a collection of photos sent in to the Vitra Company by customers and fans of its work. Check it out in the photo above and below.


I just adore how these homes showcase the aesthetic elegance of the timeless designs to create such colorful and vibrant rooms.

Thank you so much to my friend Elizabeth for sharing photos from her month-long adventure in Europe.

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3 comments:

Torrie said...

What an amazing experience for your friend... and I love that you dug in deeper to learn more about what she is *experiencing hands-on.

bobbi said...

First of all let me tell you - you have a wonderful name!! And your blog is really good. I like that you have blogs links with state origin. I'll make sure to come back and take a longer look to all your posts...
ciao for now!!

Tina said...

Minnie, this is what I LOVE about you!! You are so enthusiastic about learning more and delving deeper into things and that is soooo interesting to me! I always learn so much from visiting your blog and today is no exception! Thank you for sharing all of this on your blog, it makes me want to go and learn more!! Your friend Elizabeth is so lucky :) If I am ever in Germany, this Museum will be on my must see list! I hope you and your sweet family is well. I am off to cathc up on the posts I have missed and of course to see what your 'I love to read' photo of the week is...they are my favourites:) Hugs my friend ~ Tina xx

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