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 Plywood Division of Evans Products — production was limited to just 5,000 pieces.
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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"House," ArtPrize Top 20 finalist, on display at Frederik Meijer Gardens until ...The Rapidian, October 22nd
A black plastic molded Eames chair suggests an ordinary living room in a middle class home. A group of potted plants in a corner adds a “homey” touch. Two computer screens display animated 4-dimensional (and therefore nonexistent) geometric figures...Read more
'Terminator's James Cameron & Gale Anne Hurd: Hasta La Vista To “Fear-Based ...Deadline.com, October 18th
It's been 30 years since James Cameron made his name with a futuristic sci-fi actioner starring ex-bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, inspired by his own nightmare vision of a murderous mecha-skeleton. Jen on Genre James Cameron Terminator Shot for ...Read more
Virgin America Feels The Love: Airline Celebrates Its Touch Down At Dallas ...Nassau News Live, October 13th
The space extends the airline's cabin experience into the airport with design elements that include modern furniture pieces selected in collaboration with the Dallas-based design group Corgan – including Cassina Tre Pezzi lounge chairs, an Eames chair...Read more
Experts' guide to splurge-worthy accent chairsSFGate, October 10th
The explosive color of the zip ties which have taken over this classic Eames chair make me smile every time I see it. It reminds me of the DIY scrapper bikes of Oakland and an individual's need to customize in order to claim something as their own.” $2...Read more
Jonathan Ive Shares Three Lessons He Learned from Steve JobsVanity Fair, October 9th
“Steve [Jobs] was the most remarkably focused person I ever met in my life,” Apple's senior vice president of design Jonathan Ive told Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter during the closing event of Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in San Francisco...Read more
Barcelona Designs Rekindles the History of Charles and Ray Eames: A ...DigitalJournal.com, October 6th
It is important to note the history of Charles and Ray Eames and how they came up with such brilliant designs that are considered as iconic today in the modern world of furniture. Toronto, ON -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/06/2014 -- The designs of Charles and...Read more
In the details: Add a splash of style to your home with these pieces that popLas Vegas Weekly, October 2nd
So you can't afford an Eames chair. Why not transform the mess of coats by your door with this steel and wood wonder, designed in the 1950s by Charles and Ray Eames and reissued by Herman Miller. It's so cool you may not want to cover it. $200, dwr.com...Read more
Move Over, Ikea? New Hem Furniture Is Stylish And Convenient, If Not Quite ...Co.Design, September 30th
Affordable for some people--the Hai Lounge Chair is $1,199, cheaper than, say, an Eames chair ($4,500), but still not as cheap as an Ikea chair ($29). The prices are most comparable to those of Blu Dot, the Minneapolis-based chain that produces slick ...Read more