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

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9780810992320: The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention

The Los Angeles-based husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames gave shape to the look of America's twentieth century. They witnessed firsthand many of the momentous historical events of the 1900s - including the Depression and World War II - and in their lives and work they represented the era's defining social movements: the shift of the nation's attention from the East Coast to the West Coast, the rise of corporate and industrial America, the global expansion of American culture. The Eameses' wholehearted belief that design could improve people's lives remains their greatest accomplishment, with elegance, wit, and beauty. Published on the occasion of a major exhibition organized by the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, the holders of the two richest Eames collections in the world, this volume celebrates that achievement. Includes essay by architect and curator Donald Albrecht, which explores the Eameses' achievements in collaboration with major corporate clients. Architectural designer and critic Joseph Giovannini offers a provocative interpretation of their early careers. A photo essay features newly commissioned photographs of furniture, furniture prototypes, and experimental pieces. Astronomer Alan Lightman, physicist Philip Morrison, and author Phylis Morrison examine the Eameses' fascination with science, especially their ability to communicate its history and principles to the general public through exhibitions, books, and films. Architectural historian Beatriz Colomina situates the Eameses' own house within the context of the American and European architectural avant-garde after World War II. And architectural historian Helene Lipstadt looks at four projects the Eameses designed for the American government, placing their work in international as well as broad political contexts. Together, the essays in this handsome and generously illustrated volume present the Eameses' wide-ranging sensibilities and their immense contributions to the visual language of the twentieth century.

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Published on the occasion of a major international traveling exhibition organized by the U.S. Library of Congress and the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany (holders of the two richest Eames collections in the world), this comprehensive volume is a testament to the Eameses' belief that good design could improve people's lives. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the prolific husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames designed furniture, buildings, exhibitions, and interiors, and made films. They are perhaps best known for the form-fitting chairs that were mass-produced using the same techniques the Eameses developed in their first apartment. Taking a multifaceted approach to their multifaceted careers, this comprehensive, clothbound volume with French folds includes a filmography, making clear the pair's profound influence on the visual vernacular of the 20th century.

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