Now I’ve been (alas) too busy to get to the Charles and Ray Eames exhibition at the Barbican but thankfully fellow vintage lover, Vintage BE has, so today she is sharing it with us.
This exhibition is clearly for any discerning furniture design lover – it is safe to say that the Eames’ still hold the iconic torch for a style of furniture that is still as desirable today as it was when it was first produced.
It shows how their shared love of art & architecture, also the name of a magazine that boasts 26 cover designs by Ray, amalgamated into every aspect of their furniture and developmental stages used to form & mould the plywood & later the use of plastic, forming the basis of the infamous Eames chairs.
There are personal sketches and touches that gave a sense of connection to the couple and the relationship they had with one another. It also showed them as individuals, with Ray’s artwork, textile, toy and graphic design for Herman Miller & Charles’ early prize winning innovative furniture design with Eero Saarinen at the New York Museum of Modern Art for the “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” competition. Plus their films.
The exhibition is so extensive & informative.
The beautifully crafted wooden leg splints & stretchers that greet you as you enter were used by the navy as the metal ones were found not to be supportive enough to keep leg in place which led to in many cases gangrene.
The project houses including their own, No8, which are still as modern today as when it was constructed in 1949. The India Project, in 1958, the Eames’ were invited by the Indian Government to provide programme recommendations to aid in the training in design to assist small industries and maintain quality of production. They spent 3 months sponsored by the Ford Foundation researching & observing the field from every angle and level before putting their findings together.
This trip led to the set up of the National Institute of Design in 1961.
To say this couple were movers and shakers is such an understatement, their reached is infinite as is their use of different mediums.
The exhibition runs until 14th February so best get there quick…that’s this Sunday! Surely a perfect Valentine’s Day gift? For ticket information check out their website.
All images are courtesy of Tristan Fewings/ Getty Images and provided by The Barbican press office.