The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames, who collaborated in the design of hundreds of chairs, tables, and other pieces of furniture that combined mass production with a high sense of style and comfort, were among the most innovative American designers of the mid-twentieth century. Their most significant innovation was bending lengths of plywood in two planes. In contrast to Alvar Aalto's bending a flat sheet of plywood into one or more curves, the Eames were able to mold a single sheet of plywood in different directions, on different planes, at the same time. Other innovations include rubber shock mounts that give a chair its resiliency and newly developed glues that were used to attach the mounts to the back and seat so that the joints were not visible on the front surface.
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Title:"DCW" Side Chair
Artist:Charles Eames (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1907–1978 St. Louis, Missouri)
Medium:Birch plywood, ponyskin, rubber mounts
Dimensions:28 3/4 x 21 3/8 x 19 1/2 in. (73 x 54.3 x 49.5 cm)
Credit Line:Gift of Mr. and Mrs. I. Wistar Morris, III, 1984
Mr. and Mrs. I. Wistar Morris, III, Villanova, Penn. (by 1981–84; their gift to MMA)
Detroit Institute of Arts. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," December 14, 1983–February 19, 1984, unnumbered cat. (pl. 17; lent by I. Wistar Morris, III, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," April 18–June 17, 1984, unnumbered cat.
Helsinki. Suomen Rakennustaiteen Museo/ Suomen Taideteollisuusyhdistys. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," August 1–September 19, 1984, unnumbered cat.
Paris. Musée des Arts Décoratifs. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," October 24, 1984–January 21, 1985, unnumbered cat.
London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," April 1–June 30, 1985, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Highlights from the Modern Design Collection: 1900 to the Present," June 23, 2009–May 1, 2011, no catalogue.
Arthur Drexler. Charles Eames Furniture from the Design Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 1973, pp. 24, 54, figs. 31, 40 (MoMA collection).
Patricia E. Kane. 300 Years of American Seating Furniture: Chairs and Beds from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University. Boston, 1976, pp. 282–83, no. 268, ill. (Yale University Art Gallery collection).
R. Craig Miller inDesign in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1983, p. 122, colorpl. 17.
Martin Eidelberg inDesign in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1983, p. 230.
R. Craig Miller in "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1984–1985. New York, 1985, p. 61, ill.
John Neuhart, Marilyn Neuhart, and Ray Eames. Eames Design: The Work of the Office of Charles and Ray Eames. New York, 1989, pp. 58–61, ill.
R. Craig Miller. Modern Design in The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1890–1990. New York, 1990, pp. 212-13, ill. (color).
Gloria Koenig. Charles & Ray Eames 1907–1978, 1912–1988: Pioneers of Mid-Century Modernism. Cologne, 2005, pp. 27–30, ill.
Marilyn Neuhart with John Neuhart. The Story of Eames Furniture., Book 1: The Early Years. Berlin, 2010, p. 344, ill. (color).
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