The World of Charles and Ray Eames

Catherine Ince
Lotte Johnson

Charles Ormond Eames (1907–1978) e Bernice Alexandra "Ray" Kaiser Eames (1912–1988) lifelong partnership began in 1941, and their unique collaboration yielded a vast body of pioneering and influential design. This extraordinary work took place at the Eames Office in Venice, California: an interdisciplinary “laboratory of ideas”, active for over four decades, where the Eameses and their collaborators and staff researched and developed products, furniture, graphics, films, slideshows, architectural and exhibition projects, as well as new models for education. Charles and Ray Eames’ preoccupation with different modes of visual communication led them to produce ground-breaking multimedia architecture projects. They were driven by philosophical ideals which valued knowledge, discovery and discipline; embraced the potential of technology and science for the common good; and saw no separation between life and work.

This exhibition explores the variety of worlds in which Charles and Ray Eames lived and worked: from their first years together, developing new products for the war effort, to the adaptation of these material experiments for furniture during peacetime, to their home, studio, and international network of clients and friends. It brings together important examples of the most recognised Eames Office designs alongside experimental prototypes, rarely seen works in film, photography and architecture.

Organised by the Barbican Centre, The World of Charles and Ray Eames exhibition also toured to Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden; C-Mine, Genk, Belgium; Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany; The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Detroit, USA.