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Charles & Ray Eames

Two powerhouses in American design would definitely include Charles Eames and Ray Eames.

Charles Eames, born as Charles Ormond Eames, Jr., was born in 1907. His foundation in architecture was earned from Washington University in St. Louis, which he attained through an architecture scholarship. Bernice Alexandra Eames was born in 1912. Bernice, who is popularly known as Rey played a major role in American architecture and furniture design. She graduated from Bennett Women's College in Millbrook, New York, and moved to New York City, where she studied abstract expressionist painting with Hans Hofmann. She was a founder of the American Abstract Artists group in 1936 and displayed paintings in their first show a year later at Riverside Museum in Manhattan. One of her paintings is in the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum of American Art. In September 1940, she began studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She met Charles Eames while preparing drawings and models for the Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition and they were married the following year. Settling in Los Angeles, California, Charles and Ray Eames would lead an outstanding career in design and architecture. In 1943, 1944, and 1947, Ray Eames designed several covers for the landmark magazine, Arts & Architecture

In the late 1940s, Ray Eames created several textile designs, two of which, "Crosspatch" and "Sea Things", were produced by Schiffer Prints, a company that also produced textiles by Salvador Dalí and Frank Lloyd Wright. Original examples of Ray Eames textiles can be found in many art museum collections. The Ray Eames textiles have been re-issued by Maharam as part of their Textiles of the Twentieth Century collection.

The Eames fabrics were mostly designed by Ray, as were the Time-Life Stools. In 1979, the Royal Institute of British Architects awarded Charles and Ray with the Royal Gold Medal. At the time of Charles' death they were working on what became their last production, the Eames Sofa, which went into production in 1984.

The office of Charles and Ray Eames functioned for more than four decades (1943–1988) in the former Bay Cities Garage at 901 Washington Boulevard in Venice, Los Angeles, California. Ray Eames died in Los Angeles in 1988, ten years to the day after Charles. They are buried next to each other in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.

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