Charles and Ray Eames
Charles and Ray Eames

Charles Ormond Eames, Jr. /ˈmz/ (1907–1978) and Bernice Alexandra “Ray” Kaiser Eames (1912–1988) had been an American married couple of commercial designers who made vital historic contributions to the event of recent structure and furnishings by way of the work of the Eames Workplace. In addition they labored within the fields of commercial and graphic design, wonderful artwork, and movie. Charles was the general public face of the Eames Workplace, however Ray and Charles labored collectively as artistic companions and employed a various artistic workers.[1] Amongst their most acknowledged designs is the Eames Lounge Chair and the Eames Eating Chair.


Eames secured an structure scholarship at Washington College, however his devotion to the practices of Frank Lloyd Wright induced points along with his tutors and he left after simply two years of examine.[2]

He met Ray Kaiser at Cranbrook Academy of Artwork in 1940. Charles arrived on the faculty on an industrial design fellowship as beneficial by Eliel Saarinen, however quickly turned an teacher. Ray enrolled in varied programs to increase upon her earlier schooling in summary portray in New York Metropolis underneath the steering of Hans Hofmann. Charles entered right into a furnishings competitors—along with his “finest pal” Eero Saarinen—hosted by the Museum of Trendy Artwork. Eames and Saarinen’s aim was to mildew a single piece of plywood right into a chair; the Natural Chair was born out of this try. The chair received first prize, however its kind was unable to be efficiently mass-produced. Eames and Saarinen thought of it a failure, because the tooling for molding a chair from a single piece of wooden had not but been invented. Ray stepped in to assist with the graphic design for his or her entry.
Eames divorced his first spouse Catherine Woermann, and he and Ray married in June 1941. Their honeymoon was a street journey to relocate to Los Angeles.[2]

Their first house, after staying in a resort for just a few weeks, was Neutra’s Strathmore Flats within the Westwood neighborhood. Charles and Ray started creating tooling and molding plywood into chairs within the second bed room of the residence, ultimately discovering extra ample work areas in Venice.

The Eames Workplace

The design workplace of Charles and Ray Eames functioned for greater than 4 many years (1943–1988) within the former Bay Cities Storage[3] at 901 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Los Angeles, California.

The Eames’ labored roughly 13-hour days, six or seven days every week, and directed the work of a staff of collaborators.[4] By way of the years, its workers included many notable designers: Gregory Ain (who was Chief Engineer for the Eames’ throughout World Battle II),[5] Don Albinson, Harry Bertoia, Annette Del Zoppo, Peter Jon Pearce, and Deborah Sussman.
The Eames’ believed in “studying by doing”- earlier than introducing a brand new thought on the Eames Workplace, Charles and Ray explored wants and constraints of the thought extensively.

Early Use of Plywood

Along with their preliminary makes an attempt within the molding of plywood into useful furnishings, the Eames’ developed a leg splint for wounded troopers throughout WWII. This was in response to the conflict’s medical officers in fight zones reporting the necessity for improved emergency transport splints.[6] The Eames’ created their splints from wooden veneers, which they bonded along with a resin glue and formed into compound curves utilizing a course of involving warmth and stress.[6] With the introduction of plywood splints, they had been in a position to exchange problematic metallic traction splints that had unwanted effects of inducing gangrene as a consequence of impairment of blood circulation.[7] The US navy’s funding for the splints allowed Charles and Ray to start experimenting extra closely with furnishings designs and mass manufacturing.

Furnishings design

Eames stacking chair for youngsters, on show on the Oakland Museum of California, 2018

Eames merchandise had been manufactured on Washington Boulevard till the Nineteen Fifties.[3] Among the many many necessary designs originating there are the molded-plywood DCW (Eating Chair Wooden) and DCM (Eating Chair Metallic with a plywood seat) (1945); Eames Lounge Chair (1956); the Aluminum Group furnishings (1958); the Eames Chaise (1968), designed for Charles’s pal and movie director, Billy Wilder;[8] the Photo voltaic Do-Nothing Machine (1957), an early photo voltaic vitality experiment for the Aluminum Company of America; and various toys. Herman Miller formally relocated the tooling and assets for the mass manufacturing of Eames designs to its headquarters in Zeeland, Michigan in 1958. Herman Miller, together with their European counterpart Vitra, stay the one licensed producers of Eames furnitures and merchandise.

Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671) 1956

As with their earlier molded plywood work, the Eames’ pioneered applied sciences, comparable to utilizing fiberglass as a supplies for mass-produced furnishings. From the start, the Eames furnishings has often been listed as by Charles Eames. Within the 1948 and 1952 Herman Miller certain catalogs, solely Charles’ title is listed, nevertheless it has grow to be clear that Ray was deeply concerned and was an equal accomplice together with her husband in lots of tasks. Charles was persistently advocating that Ray was his equal. In August 2005, Maharam materials reissued Eames designed materials; Sea Issues (1947) sample and Dot Sample.[9][10] Dot Sample was conceived for The Museum of Trendy Artwork’s “Competitors for Printed Materials” in 1947. The Eames materials had been designed solely by Ray. In 1979, the Royal Institute of British Architects awarded Charles and Ray with the Royal Gold Medal. On the time of Charles’ dying they had been engaged on what turned their final manufacturing, the Eames Couch, which went into manufacturing because of Ray’s efforts in 1984.


Charles and Ray channeled their separate curiosity in pictures and theatre into the manufacturing of 125 quick movies. From their first movie, the unfinished Touring Boy (1950), to the most-recognized Powers of Ten (re-released in 1977), to their final movie in 1982,[11] their cinematic work was an outlet for concepts, a car for experimentation and schooling. The couple usually produced quick movies to doc their pursuits, comparable to amassing toys and cultural artifacts on their travels. The movies additionally report the method of hanging their displays or producing traditional furnishings designs. One movie, Blacktop, filmed cleaning soap suds and water transferring over the pavement of a car parking zone, a usually mundane topic turned visually poetic. Powers of Ten (narrated by physicist Philip Morrison) provides a dramatic demonstration of orders of magnitude by visually zooming away from the earth to the sting of the universe, after which microscopically zooming into the nucleus of a carbon atom. The “Powers of Ten shot” has been referenced by Hollywood as a praised filming method.


Charles attended Washington College from 1936 to 1938 and was expelled from the structure program as a consequence of his loyalty to the practices of Frank Lloyd Wright. He constructed two church buildings in Arkansas and three houses in St. Louis with out an structure license. He relocated to Michigan to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Artwork.

Three years after arriving in Los Angeles, Charles and Ray had been requested to take part within the Case Examine Home Program, a housing program sponsored by Arts & Structure journal within the hopes of showcasing examples of economically-priced trendy houses that utilized wartime and industrial supplies. John Entenza, the proprietor and editor of Arts & Structure journal, acknowledged the significance of Charles and Ray’s pondering and design practices—alongside changing into a detailed pal of the couple. Charles and Eero Saarinen had been employed to design Case Examine Home quantity 8, which might be the residence of Charles and Ray, and Case Examine Home quantity 9, which might home John Entenza, in 1945. The 2 houses (alongside different Case Examine homes) would share a five-acre parcel of land within the Pacific Palisades neighborhood north of Santa Monica, which missed the Pacific Ocean. Due to post-war materials rationing, the supplies ordered for the primary draft of the Eames Home (referred to as “the Bridge Home”) had been backordered. Charles and Ray spent many days and nights on-site within the meadow picnicking, capturing arrows, and socializing with household, mates, and coworkers. They realized of their love for the eucalyptus grove, the expanse of land, and the unobstructed view of the ocean. They made the choice to not construct the Bridge Home and as an alternative reconfigured the supplies to create two separate constructions nestled into the property’s hillside. Eero Saarinen had no half on this second draft of the Eames Home; it was a full collaboration between Charles and Ray. The supplies had been lastly delivered and the home was erected from February by way of December 1949. The Eames’ moved in on Christmas Eve and it turned their solely residence for the rest of their lives. It stays a milestone of recent structure.

The Eames Workplace designed just a few extra items of structure, a lot of which had been by no means put into fruition. The Herman Miller Showroom on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles was inbuilt 1950 and the De Pree Home was constructed in Zeeland, Michigan for Max De Pree, son of the founding father of Herman Miller, and his rising household. Unbuilt tasks embody the Billy Wilder Home, the prefabricated equipment house generally known as the Kwikset Home, and a nationwide aquarium.

Exhibition design

The Eames’ additionally conceived and designed various exhibitions. The primary of those, Mathematica: A World of Numbers… and Past (1961), was sponsored by IBM, and is the one Eames exhibition nonetheless in existence.[12] The Mathematica exhibition remains to be thought of a mannequin for science popularization exhibitions. It was adopted by A Pc Perspective: Background to the Pc Age (1971) and The World of Franklin and Jefferson (1975–1977), amongst others.

Record of works


  • Sweetzer Home, 1931 (Charles solely)

    Eames Home entry (Case Examine Home #8)

  • St. Mary’s Church, Helena, Arkansas, 1934 (Charles solely)[13]
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Paragould, Arkansas, 1935 (Charles solely)[14]
  • Meyer Home, Huntleigh, Missouri, 1936-1938 (Charles solely)[15]
  • Dinsmoor Home, 1936 (Charles solely)
  • Dean Home, 1936 (Charles solely)
  • Metropolis Corridor, 1944 (unbuilt, for Architectural Discussion board journal competitors)[16]
  • Bridge Home, 1945 (Charles and Eero Sarrinen, unbuilt)
  • Jefferson Nationwide Enlargement Memorial Competitors, 1947 (St. Louis Gateway Arch by Eero Saarinen received the competitors)[17]
  • Eames Home, Case Examine Home 8, Pacific Palisades, California, 1949[18]
  • Entenza Home, Case Examine Home 9, Pacific Palisades, California, 1950[19]
  • Billy Wilder Home, Beverly Hills, California, 1950 (unbuilt)[20]
  • Herman Miller Showroom, Los Angeles, California, 1950[21]
  • Kwikset Home, 1951 (unbuilt)[22]
  • Max and Esther De Pree Home, Zeeland, Michigan, 1954[23]
  • Griffith Park Railroad, Los Angeles, California, 1957[24]
  • Revell Toy Home, 1959 (unbuilt)[25]
  • The Time-Life Constructing Foyer, 1961[26]
  • Nationwide Fisheries Heart and Aquarium, Washington D.C., 1967 (unbuilt)

Eames Home Inside

Movies (chosen)

  • Touring Boy (1950)
  • Blacktop: A Story of the Washing of a College Play Yard (1952)
  • Parade Parade Or Right here They Are Coming Down Our Road (1952)
  • Circus (1953)
  • A Communications Primer (1953)[13]
  • Home: After 5 Years of Residing (1955)
  • Day of the Useless (1957)
  • Toccata for Toy Trains (1957)
  • The Data Machine (1957)[14]
  • Photo voltaic Do-Nothing Machine (1957)
  • India (1958)
  • Glimpses of the USA (1959)
  • An Introduction to Suggestions (1959)
  • Kaleidoscope Jazz Chair (1960)
  • Tivoli Slide Present (1961)
  • Furnishings: Lovely Particulars (1961)
  • IBM Arithmetic Peep Present (1961), quick documentary primarily based on Mathematica: A World of Numbers… and Past exhibit by Eames
  • Home of Science (1962)
  • IBM Truthful Presentation Movie #2 (1963)
  • THINK (1964)
  • Herman Miller Worldwide Slideshow (1967)
  • G.E.M. Slide Present (1967)
  • Picasso Slide Present (1967)
  • Nationwide Fisheries Heart and Aquarium (1967)
  • A Pc Glossary (1968)
  • Babbage’s Calculating Machine or Distinction Engine (1968)
  • Tops (1969)
  • Picture of the Metropolis (1969)[15]
  • Delicate Pad (1970)
  • Circus Slide Present (1970)
  • Louvre Slide Present (1970)
  • Cemeteries Slide Present (1970)
  • Tim Gad Slide Present (1971)
  • Items Slide Present (1971)
  • Baptistery Slide Present (1971)
  • Pc Perspective (1972)
  • Alpha (1972)
  • SX-70, promotional announcement/documentary of the Polaroid Company SX-70 instantaneous digicam
  • Banana Leaf (1972)
  • Design Q&A (1972)
  • Copernicus (1973)
  • Atlas: A Sketch of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire (1976)
  • Powers of Ten (1968, rereleased in 1977)
  • Items (1981)


  • Kleinhans Music Corridor Chair (1939–40) Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen.
  • Dialog Armchair (1940) Charles Eames & Eero Saarinen.
  • Facet Chair (1940) Charles Eames & Eero Saarinen.[27]
  • Molded Plywood Pilot’s Seat (1943)
  • Prototype Plywood and Metallic Chairs (varied fashions) (1943-1946)
  • Molded Plywood Elephant (1945)
  • Lounge Chair Wooden or LCW (1945-1946)
  • Lounge Chair Metallic or LCM (1945-1946)
  • Eating Chair Wooden or DCW (1945-1946)
  • Eating Chair Metallic or DCM (1945-1946)
  • Molded Plywood Folding Display screen (1945-1946)
  • Molded Plywood Espresso Desk wooden or metallic legs (1945-1946)
  • “Donstrosity” prototype lounge (1946)
  • Prototype Plywood Lounge with metallic base (1946)
  • Prototype Stamped Metallic Chairs (1948)
  • LaChaise prototype (1948)
  • Molded Plastic & Fiberglass Armchair Shell varied bases (1948-1950)
  • Wire Mesh Facet Chair or DKR (1951)
  • Hold-It-All (1953)
  • 670 & 671 or Eames Lounge & Ottoman (1956)
  • Leisure Group (later Aluminum Group): Excessive Again Lounge, Low Again Lounge, Eating Facet Chair (1958)
  • Eames Chaise (1968)[28]

Exhibition design

  • Textiles and Decorative Arts of India (1955)
  • Glimpses of the USA (seven screens for the American exhibition in Moscow, Sokoolniki Park, 1959)
  • Mathematica: A World of Numbers… and Past (IBM, 1961)
  • IBM Pavilion on the 1964/1965 New York World’s Truthful
  • Nehru: The person and his India (1965)
  • The World of Franklin and Jefferson (1975) constructed for the US Bicentennial Fee, opened in Paris, traveled to 5 different international locations and the US.

Home Of Playing cards, German version


  • Zenith 6D030 Z radio (1946)
  • Emerson 578A radio (1946)
  • Emerson 588A radio (1946)
  • The Toy (1951)
  • Home Of Playing cards (1952)
  • The Coloring Toy (1955)
  • Stephens Speaker (1956)


Charles died on August 21, 1978, whereas visiting St. Louis. Ray survived precisely one other decade, passing away on August 21, 1988, in Santa Monica, California.

Charles’s daughter, Lucia Eames, inherited the Eames collections and Eames Home. Though Charles didn’t concern himself with the way forward for their designs after their dying, Ray was actively planning the continuation of the Eames legacy over the last decade of her life. Ray requested that Lucia and the remainder of the Eames household be answerable for all future choices in regard to Eames designs, the work of the Workplace, and the preservation of the Eames Home and meadow. She based the Eames Basis in 2004 to protect and share the legacy of the Eames Home with the general public for future generations. Lucia Eames died in 2014, leaving her 5 youngsters because the Board of Administrators of the Eames Workplace and Eames Basis. The Eames Workplace continues its work in educating and advocating for the legacy of the Eames’, which incorporates often releasing beforehand un-produced Eames designs.

Charles Eames, Leg Splint, designed 1941-1942 Brooklyn Museum

Awards and recognition

  • On June 17, 2008, the US Postal Service launched the Eames postage stamps, a pane of 16 stamps celebrating the designs of Charles and Ray Eames.
  • AIA Twenty-five 12 months Award, 1978
  • Royal Gold Medal, 1979
  • “The Most Influential Designer of the twentieth Century” IDSA 1985
  • ADC Corridor of Fame, Charles Eames inducted in 1984,[29] Ray Eames inducted in 2008[30]
  • First Nationwide Industrial Designers Institute Award, 1951[31]
  • First Annual Kaufmann Worldwide Design Award, 1960[31]
  • Museum of Science & Trade, Chicago, Illinois Particular Award, 1967[31]
  • United States Data Company, Excellent Service Award, 1976[31]
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts, Medalist Award, 1977[31]
  • Artwork Heart Faculty of Design, fiftieth Anniversary Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement, 1980[31]

Modern exhibitions and retrospectives

  • Charles and Ray Eames on the Design Museum (1998)[32]
  • Library of Congress exhibit (1999)
  • A documentary concerning the couple titled Eames: The Architect and the Painter was launched on November 18, 2011, as a part of the American Masters sequence on PBS tv.
  • The World of Charles and Ray Eames Barbican Artwork Gallery, October 21, 2015 – February 14, 2016.
  • Eames & Hollywood, Artwork & Design Atomium Museum, March 10, 2016 – September 4, 2016.
  • The World of Charles and Ray Eames Oakland Museum of California, October 13, 2018 – February 17, 2019

See additionally

  • Nationwide Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
  • The India Report


  • Butler, Cornelia and Alexandra Schwartz eds. Trendy Ladies: Ladies Artists on the Museum of Trendy Artwork, 220–224. New York : Museum of Trendy Artwork, 2010.
  • Caplan, Ralph, “Connections: The Work of Charles and Ray Eames”. Los Angeles: UCLA, 1976.
  • Rago, David and John Sollo. Gathering Trendy: a information to mid-century furnishings and collectibles. Gibbs Smith, 2001. (ISBN 1-5868-5051-2)
  • Drexler, Arthur. “Charles Eames Furnishings from the Design Assortment of Trendy Artwork, New York”. New York: Museum of Trendy Artwork, 1973 (ISBN 0-810-96028-1)
  • Neuhart, Marilyn, Neuhart, John and Eames, Ray. Eames Design: The Work of the Workplace of Charles and Ray Eames. Abrahms, New York 1989. (ISBN 0-810-90879-4)
  • Eisenbrand, Jochen. Ray Eames. Breuer, Gerda, Meer, Julia (ed): Ladies in Graphic Design, p. 152–163 and 437. Jovis, Berlin 2012. (ISBN 978-3-86859-153-8)
  • Kirkham, Pat. Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the twenty first Century. MIT Press, Boston 1998. (ISBN 0-262-61139-2)
  • Brandes, Uta Brandes. Citizen Workplace: Ideen und Notizen zu einer neuen Bürowelt. von Vegesack, Alexander (ed) Steidl Verlag, Goettingen 1994. (ISBN 3-88243-268-3)
  • Kunkel, Ulrike. Ray Eames: Design als Lebensform. Jürgs, Britta (ed) Vom Salzstreuer bis zum Automobil: Designerinnen, p. 126-139, AvivA Verlag, Berlin 2002. (ISBN 3-932338-16-2) (de., eng.)
  • Eames, Charles and Eames, Ray. Die Welt von Charles und Ray Eames. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 1997. (ISBN 3-433-01814-6)
  • Prouvé, Jean. Charles & Ray Eames. Die großen Konstrukteure – Parallelen und Unterschiede. Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein 2002. (ISBN 3-931936-37-6) (de., frz., engl.).
  • Demetrios, Eames. An Eames Primer. New York: Universe, 2002. (ISBN 0-7893-0629-8)
  • Gössel, Peter (ed.) Koenig Gloria. Eames. Taschen, 2005. (ISBN 3-8228-3651-6)
  • Albrecht, Donald. The work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention. Harry N. Abrams in affiliation with the Library of Congress and the Vitra Design Museum, 2005. (ISBN 0-8109-1799-8)
  • Ostroff, Daniel, ed. (2015). An Eames Anthology: Articles, Movie Scripts, Interviews, Letters, Notes, Speeches by Charles and Ray Eames. New Haven: Yale College Press. ISBN 978-0-300-20345-5.
  • Kugler, Jolanthe. “Eames Furnishings Sourcebook” Weil am Rhein, Germany Vitra Design Museum 2017

  • A Digital Encyclopedia of All Issues Eames
  • The Library of Congress Web site for The Work of Charles & Ray Eames
  • Eames Basis
  • Museum of Trendy Artwork web site
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Artwork Heilbrunn Timeline of Artwork Historical past Web page on Charles & Ray Eames
  • Artwork Administrators Membership biography, portrait and pictures of labor
  • California Museum Corridor of Fame
  • Charles and Ray Eames at IMDb
  • “A Communications Primer”(1953) on the Web Archive
  • Charles Eames talks with Studs Terkel, October 1, 1965; on WFMT, from The Chicago Historical past Museum, on the Web Archive
  • “Rising Up Eames” on Architectural Digest
  • “Discover the World of Design Icons Charles and Ray Eames” on Architectural Digest
  • “Charles and Ray Eames” by Esther Mccoy in Design Quarterly 1995
  • “Charles and Ray Eames in India” by Saloni Marthur in Artwork Journal 2011
  • “Battle Furnishings: Charles and Ray Eames Design for the Wounded Physique” by Jason Weems in BOOM 2012

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