Charles & Ray Eames

Charles (1907-1978) and Ray (1912-1988) Eames were an American design married couple who created some of the most popular and recognizable mid-century furniture. Charles and Ray were an example of fruitful creative team and a happy couple: in 1943 they founded a studio of their own which worked in the fields of design, photography, architecture and filmmaking. The studio existed until 1988. They made history as creative designers eager to experiment with brand new materials: laminated veneer, plastic and fiberglass. In 1940s and 1950s they worked for the US furniture brand Herman Miller and created pieces which were soon to become timeless bestsellers – chair series ECW (Eames Chair Wood), DCW and  LCW, as well as the Lounge Chair and the La Chaise Chair which are considered icons of organic design.

Charles Eames

1925-1928. Eames studies architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, USA.

1929-1938. He establishes his own architectural practice in St. Louis.

1929-1938. Eames studies design and architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  

1939-1941. Cranbrook Academy of Art employs Eames as guest lecturer.

1940-1941. Furniture projects, created in collaboration with designer Eero Saarinen, gain first prizes in New York’s Museum of Modern Art Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition.

Ray Eames

1933-1939. Ray-Bernice Alexandra Kaiser studied abstract expressionist painting with Hans Hofmann in New York. 

1936. Ray becomes a founding member of the AAA (American Abstract Artists) group.

1940. She continues her studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where she meets Charles Eames.

1941. Charles and Ray get married and relocate to Los-Angeles. 

1943. The couple establish their own studio.

1941-1956. They experiment with laminated veneer and are commissioned by the United States Navy to produce molded plywood splints, stretchers, and experimental glider shells. The Eameses create a large collection of molded plywood furniture. 

1942-1948. Ray Eames designs the cover of Arts and Architecture magazine.

1946. Collaboration with Herman Miller begins. The company still holds the rights in reproduction of objects designed by Charles and Ray Eames in the USA.

1948. The Eameses create the famous DCW chair series made of molded plastic. 

1949. The couple build their own house in Santa Monica as part of the Case Study House programme, aimed at the development of new modernist architecture. In 2006 the Eames House was designated a National Historic Landmark.

1951-1953. New furniture made of fiberglass is under development. 

1959. The couple film Glimpses of the USA, a documentary made for the American exhibition in the USSR (Moscow, Sokolniki).

1960-1965. Collaboration with IBM. The designers work at scientific documentaries and design exhibitions.

1965-1976. The Eameses create concepts and design for large-scale exhibitions: Nehru: His Life and His India, The World of Franklin and Jefferson.

1970,1971. Charles Eames gives lectures on Problems Relating to Visual Communication and the Visual Environment in Harvard. 

1979. The work of the Eameses is celebrated by a golden medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. 

Their furniture designs, textiles and art are included in the collections of international museums.

Charles & Ray Eames. High table and two architect chairs, 1970s 
Charles & Ray Eames