Peter Shire, ‘Hollywood Table’, 1983, The Modern Archive
Peter Shire, ‘Hollywood Table’, 1983, The Modern Archive

This table is the original example included in the early exhibitions for Memphis in the US, including the traveling museum exhibition in all ten locations; from the Memphis Museum of Art (then called the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art) to the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York. Some surface scratches in both laminate top and lacquer ball, but still in very good condition. The name "Hollywood" was chosen by Memphis, as all their furniture designs were named after hotels and because Peter Shire was from Los Angeles, California - Hollywood seemed most appropriate for this piece. One of Memphis's most important innovations, was the use of plastic laminates for furniture. Laminates were widely used in kitchens and bathrooms, but had never before appeared in "formal" or public rooms. Memphis turned this convention upside down, decorating laminates and glueing them to tables, consoles, chairs, and couches. As Emilio Ambasz pointed out, these laminates are "forever young, eternally vibrant." Here on the Hollywood Table, every plane of the square table surface, top, sides and base is covered with a different shade of laminate to accentuate the geometry of the design. Each of the three legs in different shades of blue seems to pierce through the table top, marking it with a circle shape of the color. The brightly hued table top edges and the lacquered ball "foot" punctuates the design with additional jolts of color.

Series: Early example produced in 1982

Signature: Metal identification tag on bottom of table.

Image rights: The Modern Archive

Manufacturer: Memphis/Milano

Traveled with the U.S. tour of the Memphis Exhibition from Memphis, TN to the Cooper Hewitt in New York.

Illustrated in color in Memphis, Research, Experiences, Results, Failures and Successes of New Design by Barbara Radice

Memphis/Milano 1983

About Peter Shire

American, b. 1947, Los Angeles, California, based in Los Angeles, California

Group Shows

The Conversation, 
The Neon Wilderness: Voices from Los Angeles

Fair History on Artsy