Charles and Ray Eames, who pioneered modern chair design in the 1940s and '50s, were responsible for some of the most innovative chairs of the 20th century. Their chairs were fabricated from wood, fiberglass, plastic, and metal mesh. Eames chairs have been widely imitated, but originals are highly sought-after by collectors because they are considered breakthroughs in both design and technology.
In 1940, Charles Eames met Ray Kaiser at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, which was also home to architect and Eames collaborator Eero Saarinen and furniture designer Harry Bertoia. The couple married a year later and moved to Los Angeles to continue their work in molded plywood.
By 1945, the couple had figured out how to create compound curves in molded plywood. One of their first pieces was a birch child’s chair and stool manufactured by the Molded Plyw...
Evans also produced about 1,000 LCW chairs (which stands for Lounge Chair Wood) before the Eameses began a long collaboration with the Herman Miller Furniture Company, which produced and distributed a number of chairs for them, including the DCM (Dining Chair Metal), in which two pieces of plywood are secured to a solid-rod chromed frame with rubber shock mounts. In 1951, Herman Miller was selling 2,000 of these chairs a month (examples with wooden legs were less popular, making them more collectible today).
Molded fiberglass chairs in a variety of bright colors — with or without arms, with or without a rocking base — came next. Serious Eames connoisseurs look for chairs from this period, 1950-1953, with a "Miller-Zenith" label on their undersides. The ones with wooden bases (DAW, PAW) are less common and thus more sought-after than the ones with metal legs (DAR, LAX, LAR, RAR). Around the same time, the couple designed chairs made from sturdy wire mesh, with covers available in leather, vinyl, and fabric by designer Alexander Girard.
These were the chairs that the Eameses produced for the mass consumer. By 1956, well-heeled customers could order a Lounge Chair and Ottoman, whose molded rosewood plywood form embraced rich leather upholstery. The chair is still available today from Herman Miller in cherry and walnut.
In 1958, the couple launched a chair collection called the Aluminum Group, which included a desk chair and a lounge chair — the armless models of the latter are most prized today. In 1960, Eames designed several chairs and a trio of stools for the new Time-Life Building in New York. One was an Executive Desk Chair, the other an Intermediate Desk Chair, which was a smaller version of the Executive that did not sell as well, making it the more prized of the two today.
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Iconic Eames chair returns to its fiberglass rootsThe Verge, May 21st
The Michigan-based Herman Miller began producing Ray and Charles Eames' chair in 1950, using fiberglass-reinforced plastic. The chair itself went through several design iterations over the next decades, but the fiberglass remained until 1989, when...Read more
3 WAYS TO GO RETRO GET TO KNOW RETRO: USE ELEMENTS OF THESE ...U-T San Diego, May 19th
“For one person, [retro] might mean a set of flying ducks on a wall; for another, it's a sleek, expensive Eames chair; for another, it's a colorful '60s poster; for another, it's a knitted throw and a pressed-glass cake stand,” Sorrell says. “The great...Read more
Essential Eames: A Herman Miller Exhibition at ArtScience Museum in SingaporeSENATUS, May 17th
Most known for their timeless furniture creations including the Eames Lounge Chair created for Herman Miller, Charles and Ray Eames' influence and innovation extended far beyond that into architecture, exhibition design, toy making and film. Based on...Read more
Kyle SmithNew York Post, May 16th
(Frances' poverty-tourist roommates possess an Eames chair and can afford a maid). This second idea might be even more intriguing, but Baumbach drops that one, too, making the movie largely a catalog of Frances' cute failures (on a sudden trip to Paris...Read more
Design Q&A: Teen has an eye for furnitureSarasota Herald-Tribune (blog), May 16th
That's what Henry Kilpatrick discovered when he started his vintage-furniture retail site, Magic City Finds, in September 2011, at the dawn of his teenage years. Henry Kilpatrick, 14, near a Herman Miller Eames chair at his family's home in Mountain...Read more
YLiving Announces Eames® Lounge Chair Giveaway May 13 – June 10, 2013PR Web (press release), May 14th
Visit YLiving.com for a chance to win an iconic Eames® Lounge Chair by Herman Miller. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn Email a friend. Walnut Creek, CA (PRWEB) May 14, 2013. YLiving Announces Eames®...Read more
New Eames Molded Wood ChairsBabble, May 9th
The iconic Eames chair has been updated once again. Design Within Reach is now in offering Eames molded wood chairs, by Herman Miller. New 3-D veneer technology, rather than bent wood, allowed this new design to be created, while remaining true to...Read more
'Eames: The Architect and the Painter' - The Japan TimesThe Japan Times, May 9th
They believed design should be for the masses at affordable prices, and this belief played a part in defining the postwar lifestyle of the American middle-class. Now, of course, the Eames chair and the plywood coffee table are coveted items among...Read more