Charles Eames

Eames, Charles (āmz) [key], 1907–78, American designer, b. St. Louis, Mo. He opened his own architectural practice in 1930 and in the late 30s studied with Eliel Saarinen at the Cranbrook Academy, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., later teaching there, and becoming head of the design department. In 1941 he married Cranbrook colleague Ray Kaiser Eames, 1912–88, b. Sacramento, Calif., and they settled in S California. Together they created some of 20th-century America's most influential designs for furniture, interiors, fabrics, toys, and other consumer goods, most manufactured with mass-production techniques. Most famous is the stackable "Eames chair," with its molded-plywood back and seat and stainless steel legs. In 1949 they designed their now iconic Pacific Palisades home. They also worked in photography and film, making dozens of short films, e.g., Powers of Ten (1977), and designed numerous museum exhibitions.

See M. and J. Neuhart and R. Eames, Eames Design (1989); P. Kirkham, Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century (1995); D. Albrecht, ed., The Work of Charles and Ray Eames (1997); J. Barkley, Eames House (2001); E. Demetrios, An Eames Primer (2002).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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