• Steven Heller

An Eames Immersion

Charles and Ray Eames, two of the 20th century’s most influential designers. At The World of Charles and Ray Eames by The Henry Ford curator, Marc Greuther — making its U.S. premiere at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, MI (now until September 13) — hundreds of the couple’s most influential works, including architecture, furniture, films and more, come together to form an inspiring visual adventure full of color and ideas. Take a trip through the innovators’ careers, and explore the output of the Eames Office, where many of the team’s groundbreaking ideas were realized.

This exhibit provides a comprehensive timeline of postwar modernism through the lens of two of its most talented practitioners. Surround yourself with the tirelessly curious thinking that shaped the movement, and learn what’s possible when you break free from creative boundaries.

Trained in architecture and painting respectively, the duo always known as Charles and Ray met at the Cranbrook School of Art, Michigan, in 1940. The following year the couple married and moved to California to set up a home and a new studio – the Eames Office. The work of the Eames Office is characterized for most people by designs for furniture and products, yet their avid interest in addressing the needs of any given problem led them to design and communicate using a wide variety of tools and media. The World of Charles and Ray Eames charts their inspiring and prolific world and brings together key works and ideas explored at the Eames Office throughout its history. Highlights include the Revell Toy House, the film ‘Think’, The Henry Ford’s own Wills chair (a prototype perched on a garbage can that inspired their classic fiberglass chairs), and a wealth of documentation and contextual material from the professional archive of the Eames Office, and artifacts from their personal collections.

Charles and Ray collaborated and associated with the leading artistic figures of the 20th century and their immediate circle included Buckminster Fuller and Alexander Girard, innovators featured within The Henry Ford’s own collection. Alongside the rich array of Eames designs, the exhibition includes material which highlights the importance of these relationships to the couple’s life, philosophy and working processes. The artifacts are presented in the context of the inner world of their Office and network, alongside the political, cultural and social conditions which enabled and influenced their work.

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