- Charles Eames
- Verner Panton
- Le Corbusier
- Eileen Gray
- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
- Arne Jacobsen
- George Nelson
Charles Eames and his wife Ray are widely accredited with designing some of the Twentieth Century\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s most important and modern furniture.
He was born in the city of St Louis in 1907 as the youngest son of a railway security worker. Charles was a keen student at school who was quickly identified by the teaching staff as a young man with a great deal of potential. Following school, He was awarded a scholarship to study architecture at St Louis\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' Washington University. It was here that he met his first wife Catherine Woerman. As part of his honeymoon with Catherine in 1929, he travelled around Europe where he witnessed the works of Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier - who were at the forefront of furniture design at this time.
On his return Eames worked as an architect and in 1935 was invited by friend Eliel Saarinen to study design and architecture at the prestigious Cranbrook University. Here Eames formed a close friendship with Eliel as well as his son Eero (who together with Eames won the 1940 MoMA Organic Furniture Award) and most notably met his second wife - Ray Kaiser, who he married in June 1941, one month after divorcing Catherine.
Together Charles and Ray Eames moved to Los Angeles, where initially Charles worked for MGM and Ray for an Architecture magazine. In any free time that they had, Charles and Ray would work in their spare room (and then laterally full-time in a small studio on the famous Santa Monica Boulevard) developing new ways of working with plywood - experimenting by making toys, sculptures and of course furniture. American Furniture Company Herman Miller put the first of these furniture designs into production from 1946 following persuasion from eminent designer of the time George Nelson.
As a testament to their quality, many of these designs are still produced by the Herman Miller Company and its European partner Vitra today. Probably the most widely recognised and iconic of their designs, the Eames Lounge chair was designed and first manufactured in 1956. The chair features a mix of luxurious leather and opulent Sculpted ply-wood. The lounge chair was initially made as a present for the film producer Billy Wilder to allow him to comfortably sit and watch TV. Very quickly the Eames lounge chair design became a big hit worldwide and is as popular today as it was 50 years ago. Charles and Ray continued to push the boundaries of furniture design throughout their career and moved from plywood to experimenting with glass fibre, plastic and aluminium designs, many of which look as fresh and modern today as when they were penned 4 decades ago.
In a career spanning over 50 years, Charles worked tirelessly right up until his death in August 1978. Once by herself, Ray worked at completing any unfinished commissions which the two had taken on during Charles\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' life, but undertook no new projects. Ray died 21st August 1988, 10 years to the day after the death of her husband.