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Paldao "Ectoplastic" Desk (No. 4106)

A work made of paldao, acacia burl, imitation leather, and brass tacks.

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  • A work made of paldao, acacia burl, imitation leather, and brass tacks.


c. 1940


Gilbert Rohde
American, 1894–1944
Herman Miller Furniture Company
American, founded 1923
Zeeland, Michigan

About this artwork

Gibert Rohde’s “Ectoplastic” desk is one of the earliest examples of furniture in the United States featuring the biomorphic shapes associated with Surrealism, a global movement that explored the accidental, the irrational, and the subconscious workings of the mind. Melding fantasy and functionalism, the curvilinear work surface appears to float on top of the leg and base. Rohde designed this desk for the Herman Miller Furniture Company as part of the Paldao Group, an 80-piece furniture suite named for the distinct wood with contrasting grain that appears on the desktop.


On View, Gallery 262


Arts of the Americas


Gilbert Rohde , Herman Miller Furniture Company (Manufacturer)


Paldao "Ectoplastic" Desk (No. 4106)


United States (Object made in)


c. 1940


Paldao, acacia burl, imitation leather, and brass tacks


74.9 × 132.1 × 81.3 cm (29 1/2 × 52 × 32 in.)

Credit Line

Stanley and Polly Stone Endowment; American Art Purchase Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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