For the occasion of the upcoming sale of the JF Chen collection of Eames design by Wright Chicago next week, I would like to recommend what I see as the best scholarly work on the duo published to date. It is Pat Kirkham’s publication “Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century,” which was published nearly a decade ago, just two years before I became Pat’s student at the Bard Graduate Center in New York. The husband-and-wife team, active between 1941 and Charles's death in 1978, came to the forefront of American postwar design as the star-designers of years following WWII. In her wonderful and informative book, Pat concentrates on the nature of the Eameses' professional collaboration, demonstrating that Ray had a significant role in the couple's range of activities in interior and furniture design, architecture, and exhibition design, film, and multiscreen presentations. Kirkham suggests that this crucial aspect of the Eames story has been ignored because at mid-century the male leaders of the architectural world architects, as well as critics and museum professionals-tended to emphasize the innovative structural and technological aspects of modern architecture.
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