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Alcoa Forecast Program Table

Isamu Noguchi (American, 1904–1988)

Aluminum Company of America (American, b. 1888–present)

1957

Medium painted aluminum Measurements H: 14 3/4 x W: 18 1/2 x D: 16 in. (37.47 x 46.99 x 40.6 cm) Credit Gift of Torrence M. Hunt, Sr. Accession Number 2004.9.1 Location Gallery 21, Bruce Galleries

Narrative

In 1956, Alcoa launched the Forecast Program, a high-profile advertising campaign. During a five-year period the company commissioned about 20 well-known designers to produce objects made from aluminum but not typically associated with the metal. These objects were photographed specifically for use in advertisements in general mass-market magazines rather than in trade or business magazines. The small, modular hexagonal tables designed for the Forecast Program by the Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi appeared in advertisements in 1957. As the advertisement stated, "You will style rooms to the whim of the moment...using sectional aluminum furniture of myriad textures, colors, finishes and forms...in arrangements as endless as patterns of a kaleidoscope." Alcoa intended the tables to be anodized or painted in multiple colors, but unfortunately they did not go into commercial production at the time. The Vitra Design Museum in Berlin recently started to produce them in black or white.