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Object Name:  Sofa
Mae West's Lips

Producer:  Green & Abbott; Salvador Dali; Edward James
Place Produced:  London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Date Produced:  c1938
Materials:  Felt and wood
Culture:  Spanish
Measurements:  Whole: 920 x 2130 x 80 mm

ID Number:  DA300594
Category:  Decorative Art
Location:  Brighton Museum & Art Gallery - on display in the 20th Century Art & Design Gallery

Description:  The Mae West's Lips sofa was designed by Salvador Dali with Edward James around 1938, and made by Green & Abbott. It has a wooden carcase, upholstered in felted, woven wool fabric.

Dali had first painted The Face of Mae West (Usable as a Surrealist Apartment), in1934. From May 1936, Edward James, Dali's patron and close friend at the time, collaborated with him on designing 'paranoiac-critical' interiors, furniture and objects, incongruously assembled, such as the Lobster Telephone. James was instrumental in having Mae West's lips made as a sofa, which has become a 20th-century icon. In the 1960s it was re-interpreted as the lips of Marilyn Monroe.

Purchased by Brighton Museum & Art Gallery from the Edward James Foundation in 1983 with the support of Charles Robertson and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund

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3 Related People:

Artist; Sculptor; Graphic designer

Patron of the Arts

1 Related Places:

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