Gilbert Rohde

American (New York City, New York, 1894 - 1944, New York City, New York)

Herman Miller Clock Company, Manufacturer

(Zeeland, Michigan, Established 1927)

Electric Clock

ca. 1933
design object | metal, glass, plastic, paint, and electronics
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  • Electric Clock

    Gilbert Rohde, Herman Miller Clock Company, Electric Clock, ca. 1933; metal, glass, plastic, paint, and electronics, 16 in. x 12 1/2 in. x 3 in. (40.64 cm x 31.75 cm x 7.62 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Barbara and Gerson Bakar, Jean and James E. Douglas, Jr., Mimi and Peter Haas, Christine and Michael Murray, and Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Walker, Jr.;


Rohde's modernist affinity for simplicity of form and efficiency of detail is apparent in the line of products he designed for Herman Miller.

Produced with a modicum of materials, this clock is a device for telling time whose exterior form aptly expresses its interior workings. With a single diagonal chrome bar instead of a traditional heavy casement, the fragile glass face becomes the main body of the clock. Suspended in midair, the translucent circular form appears as if it might float away were it not held down by the force of its powerful metal arm.

The use of highly reflective chrome, then a relatively new material, perfectly embodied an era consumed with speed, strength, and modernization. Rohde's lasting mark on sleek clock design is also evident in the replacement of the numerals with identical lines, decipherable solely by their relative location on the timepiece.


16 in. x 12 1/2 in. x 3 in. (40.64 cm x 31.75 cm x 7.62 cm)
Acquired 2004
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Barbara and Gerson Bakar, Jean and James E. Douglas, Jr., Mimi and Peter Haas, Christine and Michael Murray, and Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Walker, Jr.
2004.8

Tags

clocks, chrome, metal, dials, round, angles, circles, glass, functional


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