Ettore Sottsass Jr. and Perry King

Ettore Sottsass Jr., Designer

Italian, born Austria (Innsbruck, Austria, 1917 - 2008, Milan, Italy)

Perry King, Collaborator

British (London, England, 1938)

Ing. C. Olivetti & C., Manufacturer

(Ivrea, Italy, Established 1908)

Valentine Portable Typewriter

design object | metal, plastic, and paint
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • Valentine Portable Typewriter

    Ettore Sottsass Jr. and Perry King, Ettore Sottsass Jr., Perry King, Ing. C. Olivetti & C., Valentine Portable Typewriter, 1969; metal, plastic, and paint, 4 5/8 in. x 13 1/2 in. x 13 7/8 in. (11.75 cm x 34.29 cm x 35.24 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Dung Ngo;

The Valentine is made of orange-red injection-molded ABS, in keeping with the 1960s-era craving for brightly colored plastics. The machine is light, easy to carry, and can be used anywhere, since its rigid case also serves as a work surface.

Sottsass stated that it "was invented for use anyplace except in an office, so as not to remind anyone of monotonous working hours, but rather to keep amateur poets company on quiet Sundays in the country or to provide a highly colored object on a table in a studio apartment." His subversion of the idea of a typewriter as a practical instrument has profoundly influenced designers of today, such as Philippe Starck, for whom usefulness is only part of the design equation.

4 5/8 in. x 13 1/2 in. x 13 7/8 in. (11.75 cm x 34.29 cm x 35.24 cm)
Acquired 2004
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Dung Ngo


typewriters, red, functional, machines

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