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Charles and Ray Eames

Charles Eames (1907-1978) Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Ray Eames (1912 - 1988) Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA

Probably the most notable couple in the history of the field of Industrial Design

In 1928 Charles Eames graduated in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, and in 1930 he set up office with Charles M. Gray. During the 1930s he designed several houses around St. Louis and two churches in Arkansas. In 1934 he went to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where he met friend and colleague Eero Saarinen.

Eames and Saarinen entered the New York Museum of Modern Art’s Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition in 1940, where they took first prize with their pioneering moulded plywood chairs. Their sculptured designs heralded a new production method of moulding a plywood shell in three dimensions. Eames also earned himself a position as Head of Industrial Design at Cranbrook in the same year.

Ray Kaiser studied painting at the Hans Hoffman School in New York before continuing to develop her art, working under Hans Hofmann throughout 1937. During this period she played an integral part in setting up the American Abstract Artists group who campaigned for greater publicity for avant-garde art. The group gave her a foundation from which she launched her first exhibition at the Riverside Museum in New York. From there she moved on to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1940.

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