Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Leg splint

Artist:
Charles Eames (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1907–1978 St. Louis, Missouri)
Artist:
Ray Eames (American, 1913–1988)
Date:
1942
Medium:
Molded plywood
Dimensions:
42 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 3 1/2 in. (107.3 x 20 x 8.9 cm)
Classification:
Miscellaneous-Wood
Credit Line:
Gift of Fifty/50, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.246
Not on view
During World War II, the U.S. Navy called upon Charles and Ray Eames to create a lightweight, inexpensive leg splint. The resulting highly sculptural yet functional, modular device could be mass-produced and conveniently transported. Access to military technology and manufacturing facilities allowed the Eameses to perfect the plywood-molding technique they had been working on for several years. The splint’s biomorphic form suggests the couple’s subsequent influential plywood furniture designs.
Marking: Stamped (outside bottom): "S2-1790"/ Stamped (outside top): MOLDED PLYWOOD DIVISION/LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA/EAMES PRODUCTS/PATTEN PENDING
[Fifty/50, New York, until 1984; their gift to MMA]

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Design," March 30–December 3, 2006, no catalogue.

Arthur Drexler. Charles Eames Furniture from the Design Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 1973, pp. 12, 56, fig. 16 (MoMA collection).

Ralph Caplan. Connections: The Work of Charles and Ray Eames. Exh. cat., Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles. Los Angeles, 1976, p. 23, ill.

John Neuhart, Marilyn Neuhart, and Ray Eames. Eames Design: The Work of the Office of Charles and Ray Eames. New York, 1989, pp. 32–33, ill.

Donald Albrecht in The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention. Exh. cat., Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. New York, 1997, pp. 74–75, ill. (color).

Gloria Koenig. Charles & Ray Eames 1907–1978, 1912–1988: Pioneers of Mid-Century Modernism. Cologne, 2005, pp. 21–23, ill. (color).

Marilyn Neuhart with John Neuhart. The Story of Eames Furniture., Book 1: The Early Years. Berlin, 2010, pp. 44, 305–12, 321, 324–30, ill. pp. 44, 304 (both color), 310 (sketches), 324 (color), 325 (color details).

Jason Weems. "Charles and Ray Eames Design for the Wounded Body." Boom: A Journal of California 2 (Spring 2012), pp. 46–48, ill. pp. 46 (shown in use, ca. 1943), 47 (color).



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