| exploring the work of 20th Century designers Charles and Ray Eames featuring information about their innovative approach to design, materials, furniture, and building.
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| Essential Eames
The work of Charles and Ray Eames is synonymous with great design. From architecture, furniture, and exhibitions to toys, films, and books, their work not only provided a sense of functionality, but also influenced modern culture on a intellectual basis as well. The Eameses' saw promise in good design, and believed that it could positively affect people's lives. The result is an impressive body of work that exhibits an elegant balance of beauty, wit, and practicality.
Born in 1907, Charles Eames began studying architecture at Washington University, and later opened an architectural practice in St. Louis. Several years later, Eames was offered a fellowship and teaching post by Eliel Saarinen to develop an experimental design department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. It was during this time that Eames became familiar with fellow Cranbrook artists such as Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia, Ed Bacon, Harry Weese, Ralph Rapson, and Eero Saarinen. It was also at Cranbrook that Charles met and later married Ray Kaiser, a fellow student and painter. A founding member of the American Abstract Artists, Ray had studied with Hans Hoffman.
In 1940, Eames and Saarinen were awarded two first prizes for their designs in the Organic Furniture Competition presented by Museum of Modern Art. But production of the innovative curved plywood designs was not realized due to their unique construction process and the pending world war.
It was shortly after this that Charles and Ray Eames relocated to California and began research into methods for molding plywood. Their work led to the establishment of an independent laboratory, which was commissioned during the war to produce molded plywood splints, stretchers, and experimental glider shells.
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The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention
A companion to the exhibition organized by the U.S. Library of Congress and the Vitra Design Museum, this beautifully illustrated book provides a visual essay to the work of this noted husband and wife design team. The book explores the furniture, buildings, exhibitions, interiors, and films of these innovative designers with color photographs and engaging text... a must read for serious Eames fans.