Saint Louis Art Museum

St. Louis, MO



The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention


Charles and Ray Eames, who are among the designers most responsible for modernizing postwar America, are subjects of a major international retrospective on view from February 19 to May 14, 2000 at The Saint Louis Art Museum. "The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention," featuring more than 500 artifacts, explores the creative range of the Eames's career through furniture, drawings, models, photographs, slides, films, videos, toys, one-of-a-kind prototypes and experimental pieces, all exemplifying the husband-and-wife team's altruistic and ambitious goal of improving society through design. (left: Low Side Chair, 1946, ash, plywood and rubber, Gift of Tom and Jean Wolff in memory of Charles Eames, 47:1985)

At a critical moment in American history, Charles (1907 - 1978) and Ray (1912 - 1988) Eames responded to emerging postwar consumer needs and demands with experimentation and an aesthetic approach that was a uniquely American interpretation of European modernism. The Eameses broadened the scope of that tradition by incorporating the design traditions of diverse cultures and bringing renewed attention to the vernacular of the every day. They infused their work for both corporate and private clients with a new and strong sense of play, a fresh, open informality and a recognition of the needs of a diverse American population. Everything they created was imbued with the democratic ideals of accessibility and affordability. This comprehensive presentation of Charles and Ray Eames's prolific careers explores both the process and the products of design, as well as the role of design in daily life. (right: Armchair, 1950, polyester, fibergalss, steel, Gift of Mrs. Charles Lorenz, 124:1984)

"The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention" is curated in St. Louis by Cara McCarty, the Grace L. Brumbaugh and Richard E. Brumbaugh Curator of Decorative Arts and Design.

"The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention," a 205-gage illustrated catalogue, was edited by Donald Albrecht and published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with the Library of Congress and the Vitra Design Museum. It is available in the Museum Shop.

Read more about the Saint Louis Art Museum in Resource Library Magazine

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 12/27/10

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