Roger Sterling’s new office in the Time-Life building on 6th Avenue.
- Eero Saarinen ‘Tulip’ pedestal desk
- Artimede Nesso mushroom lamp
- Charles Eames executive chair (the “Time-Life Chair” designed specifically for the 1959 high rise)
Is there another series that ever enshrined the decor of an era with such meticulous attention to detail? (Deadwood, maybe.) Roger Sterling’s new office not only represents his tendency to trade up to the latest stylish accessories (including wives) but what more appropriate podium for a figurehead executive who delegates all responsibilities than a desk with no drawers topped with fashionable ornaments, devoid of practical workplace tools. It’s executive suite as bachelor pad.
But it’s not mere trendy transience. Like the Rothko casually hung on Bert Cooper’s old office two blocks east, these immaculate Master of the Universe environments have been crafted with an eye for quality creative design. Those 3 items listed above are still being manufactured and sold 50 years later — though that Eames throne will set you back about 3500 bucks.
The New Digs: Time-Life Building, 1959 and today
Fetish Object (yeah, him too, but I mean the chair)
When George Nelson asked Charles Eames to help in the design of the U.S. pavilion at the Moscow world exhibition in 1959, they needed to work fast. Eames called his friend Henry Luce, the chairman of Time-Life, to ask that Time-Life’s vast archive of images be open to him for the slideshow he imagined. When Luce said yes, the story of the Time-Life chair began.
Luce’s only condition was that Eames return the help one day.** A year after the exhibition in Moscow‚Äîa great success, featuring Eames’s multi-screen slide show, a first‚ÄîLuce called to ask Eames for a chair for the executive floors of his new building. Charles and Ray Eames responded with the Time-Life chair and walnut stools, and Herman Miller still produces them.
**(Don Corleone: Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me.)
Aside from rhyming with “Dreams” did Nolan have Charles Eames in mind writing Inception when he named Tom Hardy’s Forger? Salon thinks it might be a reference to Eames’ famous 1977 film “Powers of Ten.”