Designer: Alvar Aalto (Finnish, Kuortane 1898–1976 Helsinki)

Manufacturer: Iittala Lasitehdas Oy

Date: designed 1936, manufactured 1960–61

Medium: Glass

Dimensions: 11 3/8 x 12 x 11 in. (28.9 x 30.5 x 27.9 cm)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Purchase, Lita Annenberg Hazen Charitable Trust Gift, 1985

Accession Number: 1985.223

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Alvar Aalto designed the Swedish Pavilion for the 1937 Exposition Universelle in Paris. Considered his first mature achievement in architecture, it was also a breakthrough for him in the field of industrial design. Aalto won the 1936 competition sponsored by Karhula-Iittala to design innovative tableware and art glass to be shown at the fair. His free-form objects, comprising a collection of about ten pieces ranging from a shallow dish to a tall vase, were exhibited and instantly popular. The Savoy Restaurant in Helsinki commissioned a number of the most popular forms and this vase, previously known as "The Paris Object" or simply the "Aalto," became known as the Savoy vase. It is still in production today and is considered a classic example of the Scandinavian avant-garde.