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Charles & Ray Eames


Charles Ormond Eames, Jr (1907–1978) and Bernice Alexandra "Ray" (Kaiser) Eames (1912–1988) were American designers who worked in and made major contributions to modern architecture and furniture. They also worked in the fields of industrial and graphic design, fine art and film.
 
Career
Charles Eames

Charles Eames was greatly influenced by the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. At the elder Saarinen's invitation, Charles moved in 1938 with his wife Catherine and daughter Lucia to Michigan, to further study architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he would become a teacher and head of the industrial design department. In order to apply for the Architecture and Urban Planning Program, Eames defined an area of focus—the St. Louis waterfront. Together with Eero Saarinen he designed prize-winning furniture for New York's Museum of Modern Art "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition. Their work displayed the new technique of wood moulding, that Eames would further develop in many moulded plywood products, including chairs and other furniture, splints and stretchers for the US Navy during World War II. In 1941, Charles and Catherine divorced, and he married his Cranbrook colleague Ray Kaiser, who was born in Sacramento, California. He then moved with her to Los Angeles, California, where they would work and live until their deaths. In the late 1940s, as part of the Arts & Architecture magazine's "Case Study" program, Charles and Ray designed and built the groundbreaking Eames House, Case Study House #8, as their home. Located upon a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and hand-constructed within a matter of days entirely of pre-fabricated steel parts intended for industrial construction, it remains a milestone of modern architecture.

Ray Kaiser Eames

Ray Eames was an American artist, designer, and filmmaker who, together with her husband Charles, is responsible for many classic, iconic designs of the 20th century. In 1933 she graduated from Bennett Women's College in Millbrook, New York, and moved to New York City, where she studied abstract expressionist painting with Hans Hofmann. She was a founder of the American Abstract Artists group in 1936 and displayed paintings in their first show a year later at Riverside Museum in Manhattan. One of her paintings is in the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum of American Art. In the late 1940s, Ray Eames created several textile designs, two of which, "Crosspatch" and "Sea Things", were produced by Schiffer Prints, a company that also produced textiles by Salvador Dalí and Frank Lloyd Wright. Original examples of Ray Eames textiles can be found in many art museum collections. The Ray Eames textiles have been re-issued by Maharam as part of their Textiles of the Twentieth Century collection.
 
Furniture Design
In the 1950s, the Eameses continued their work in architecture and modern furniture design. As with their earlier molded plywood work, the Eameses pioneered technologies, such as fiberglass furniture, plastic resin chairs, and the wire mesh chairs designed for Herman Miller. From the beginning, the Eames furniture has usually been listed as by Charles Eames. In the 1948 and 1952 Herman Miller bound catalogs, only Charles' name is listed, but it has become clear that Ray was deeply involved and was an equal partner with her husband in many projects. The Eames fabrics were mostly designed by Ray, as were the Time-Life Stools. In 1979, the Royal Institute of British Architects awarded Charles and Ray with the Royal Gold Medal. At the time of Charles' death they were working on what became their last production, the Eames Sofa, which went into production in 1984. And one of their most famous disign is Eames Lounge Chair.

The Eameses also conceived and designed a number of exhibitions. The first of these, Mathematica: A World of Numbers. and Beyond (1961), was sponsored by IBM, and is the only one of their exhibitions still extant. The Mathematica exhibition is still considered a model for science popularization exhibitions. It was followed by A Computer Perspective: Background to the Computer Age (1971) and The World of Franklin and Jefferson (1975–1977), among others.
 
Awards
the US Postal Service released the Eames Stamps, a pane of 16 stamps celebrating the designs of Charles and Ray Eames, 2008
AIA Twenty-five Year Award, 1978
Royal Gold Medal, 1979
"The Most Influential Designer of the 20th Century" IDSA 1985
 
Gallery
Eames Lounge Chair