Celebrating 101 Years of Ray EamesAuthor:Lindsey Shook
For those of us with a fondness and deep appreciation for modernism, the Eames name echoes loudly in our hearts. The single syllable brand is an accessory to words like sleek, sophisticated, simple, beautiful, and functional. Charles and Ray Eames’ vision embodied more than making things look good; they wanted to change the world. They wished to bring practicality, simplicity, and luxury to our lives. With the marriage of many disciplines; art, science, logic, and inventiveness, the Eameses are responsible for the intimacy that great design and everyday life now share.
In celebration of the dedicated exhibition at the California Museum in Ray’s hometown of Sacramento and in honor of her 101st birthday this weekend, we have rounded up our favorite Eames designs that are doing their inventors proud.
A Sacramento native, Ray Eames graduated from Bennett Woman’s College in Millbrook, New York. She shortly moved to New York City to study abstract expressionist painting with Hans Hoffman and went on to found the American Abstract Artists group in 1936. In 1940 she met Charles Eames on the campus of Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The following year, against their family’s wishes, the couple married and moved to Los Angeles. They founded the Eames design studio within that decade and went on to pioneer modernism in architecture and product design.
Designed by Eames in 1958 and manufactured by Herman Miller in the U.S., this lounge chair is arguably the Eames’ most iconic design.
In 1953 the Eameses released a storage unit very similar to this one. It is plain to see that even decades later this piece has served as inspiration for designers like Dieter Rams and Naoto Fukasawa.
The Hang-it-All debuted in 1953 and like everything else on our list it is still being produced and sold today. An original Hang-it-All is part of the permanent collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art.
The Eames studio produced this molded plastic rocking chair in 1950. Almost 75 years later, it is still an interior design staple for most modernists.
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