When this whimsical Eames design debuted in 1953, the public’s perception of coat racks changed—these utilitarian objects could now be thought of as decorative and fun.
Combining a childlike use of color with a reinterpretation of a conventional household object, the Eames® Hang-It-All Coat Rack is an art object with everyday function.
Inspired by Toys & Science
Inspired by their desire to encourage free expression in children, Ray and Charles Eames began making cardboard costume masks in 1950. In 1953, they designed the toy-like Hang-It-All Coat Rack for Tigrett. Childlike with its brightly colored maple wood balls, the Hang-It-All also drew on the era’s popular fascination with scientific imagery—in this case, the molecular models used in classrooms.
Later on, more versions of the Hang-It-All Coat Rack were produced with dark wood and black- or cream-painted balls. The Hang-It-All Coat Rack was featured in MoMA's 2012 exhibition Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000 as a way of illustrating the Eameses’ toy inspiration for this design.
Building the Hang-It-All Coat Rack
In the 1950s, the Eameses were inspired by dress forms and baskets to experiment with bending and welding wire. This led to their iconic chairs and tables with spider-web-like legs and bases. For the Hang-It-All Coat Rack, the couple used the same wire-welding techniques. The result is that the design’s maple wood balls seem suspended in air, imbuing the coat rack with a lightness and gracefulness.
What Makes the Eames® Hang-It-All Coat Rack So Special?
The Hang-It-All Coat Rack is made from premium materials: steel-wire rods and maple wood. For the colorful version of the design, the steel rods are painted white, adding to the coat rack’s airiness, especially when mounted on a white wall. The Eames® Hang-It-All Coat Rack is produced by Herman Miller®, a manufacturer with a long and storied relationship with Eames design.
Can I Use the Eames® Hang-It-All for Other Items Besides Coats?
During a photo session in the 1950s, Ray Eames playfully demonstrated the Hang-It-All’s versatility: from the wooden balls she hung a roller skate, a kachina doll, a petticoat, and a bow of ribbon. Similarly, the Hang-It-All can be used in a variety of ways in your home. During the winter, it’s a handy place to hang scarves and gloves and, when mounted in a child’s bedroom, it can be utilized for organizing small blankets, articles of clothing and certain types of toys. In an adult’s room, it becomes an inventive way to hang accessories, such as neck ties or jewelry. A place to display one’s hat collection? The Hang-It-All is perfect for this. Ultimately, the Hang-It-All is ideal for use inside your entryway or front room, where it will make a memorable first impression for arriving guests.
What Kind of Wood Are the Balls Made From? How Can I Clean the Wood and Steel Rods?
The balls of the Hang-It-All are made from painted maple wood. They should be cleaned regularly by rinsing thoroughly with warm water and soap, and then drying immediately (otherwise paint will chip). This will help maintain the integrity of the design. The metal rods of the Hang-It-All can be cleaned with a soft cloth soaked in detergent and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
Can I Use the Eames® Hang-It-All in the Bathroom?
The Hang-It-All can be used to hang up to 10 bath towels, although we do not recommend placing wet or damp towels on it.
How Much Does the Hang-It-All Weigh? How Is It Packaged?
The Hang-It-All weighs just under 3 lbs. It arrives in a box that measures 22h x 16w x 8"d.
Does the Hang-It-All Arrive Fully Assembled and Does It Include Hanging Hardware? Can I Hang It without Screws or Dry Mounts?
The Eames® Hang-It-All comes fully assembled and includes hanging hardware. The Hang-It-All should be properly anchored to your wall, so we do not recommend hanging it without screws and drywall mounts. Doing so may affect the Hang-It-All’s overall stability.
How Much Weight Can the Hang-It-All Hold?
When properly mounted to the wall, the Hang-It-All can hold a total of 50 lbs. The individual balls can handle up to 10 lbs, as long as no more than five balls are bearing this much weight.
Is This the Original Eames® Hang-It-All?
At MoMA Design Store, we sell the authentic Eames® Hang-It-All Coat Rack design that was reissued by Herman Miller®, the design’s manufacturer, in 1994. Eames® is a licensed trademark of Herman Miller®. The Hang-It-All comes with a 5-Year Warranty.