Charles & Ray Eames Bio

Charles & Ray Eames (Image 1)
Soure: The Red List., “Charles & Ray Eames”

Charles and Ray Eames were one of the most successful and important mid-century modern designers, with their influence in the worlds of furniture design and architecture continuing to this day. They also contributed to American textile design, industrial design, manufacturing, film and photography.

This video offers a brief introduction to the Eameses and their work:

Source: Eames Office, “Introduction to the Work of Charles and Ray Eames”

Charles Ormond Eames, Jr (1907–1978) was born in St. Louis, Missouri as nephew of architect William S. Eames. Becoming familiar with engineering, drawing and architecture when he was 14 years old at the Laclede Steel Company, he moved on to study architecture at Washington University in St. Louis before being dismissed. His dismissal may have been because of his advocacy for modernism and Frank Lloyd Wright, but may also have been because of the dual pressures between work and school.

Among Charles Eames’ many endeavours were founding his own architectural practice, beginning to design furniture, developing new plywood molding techniques that later used in his furniture and becoming the head of the design department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.

Charles & Ray Eames (Image 3)
Source: Eames Foundation, “Welcome to the Eames Foundation”

Bernice Alexandra “Ray” Eames (1912–1988) was born in Sacramento, California. She studied abstract expressionist painting in New York City and founded the American Abstract Artist group, displaying her paintings at Manhattan’s Riverside Museum. Later, she attended Cranbrook Academy of Art, where she met Charles Eames during the Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition and married a year later.

Ray Eames achieved many impressive feats, including designing covers for the leading magazine, Arts & Architecture, and created two textile designs printed by the prestigious Schiffer Prints.

Charles & Ray Eames (Image 2)
Source: Library of Congress, “Kazam! Major Exhibition of the Work of American Designers Charles & Ray Eames Opens”

Together, Charles and Ray Eames did ground breaking work, especially in furniture design. At the forefront of popularizing fiberglass, plastic resin and wire mesh chairs for the masses and continuing to use Charles’ molded plywood methods, the Eameses were well connected, well lauded and well accomplished. Some of their most important designs include the Eames Chaise, Aluminium Group line, DSW, DCM and, of course, the Eames Lounge Chair.

The Eameses were also well-known for their Eames Home, which was built over a matter of days in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about it here and see the inside in the following pictures:


Charles & Ray Eames Case Study House (Image 1)
Charles & Ray Eames Case Study House (Image 2)
Charles & Ray Eames Case Study House (Image 3)
Charles & Ray Eaes Case Study House (Image 4)
Source: Wanken, “CHARLES AND RAY EAMES LIVING ROOM EXHIBIT”

Husband and wife, designer and designer. Charles and Ray Eames certainly deserve their status as one of the greats in American and international mid-century modern design.

More Information:
Herman Miller, “Charles and Ray Eames” 

Wikipedia, “Charles and Ray Eames” 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Charles Eames (1907–78) and Ray Eames (1912–88)” 

DWR, “Charles and Ray Eames USA (1907–1978; 1912–1988)” 

R Company, “CHARLES & RAY EAMES” 

Wanken, “Charles and Ray Eames Living Room Exhibit” 

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