Skip to main content

Charles and Ray Eames

American

Charles Eames and Ray Eames were the embodiment of the inventiveness, energy and optimism at the heart of mid-century modern American design, and have been recognized as the most influential designers of the 20th century.

As furniture designers, filmmakers, artists, textile and graphic designers and even toy and puzzle makers, the Eameses were a visionary and effective force for the notion that design should be an agent of positive change. They are the happy, ever-curious, ever-adventurous faces of modernism.

Charles studied architecture and industrial design. Ray (née Beatrice Alexandra Kaiser) was an artist, who studied under the Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann. They met in 1940 at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Detroit (where Charles also met his frequent collaborator Eero Saarinen and the artist and designer Harry Bertoia) and married the next year.

His technical skills and her artistic flair were wonderfully complementary. They moved to Los Angeles in 1941, where Charles worked on set design for MGM. In the evenings at their apartment, they experimented with molded plywood using a handmade heat-and-pressurization device they called the “Kazam!” machine. The next year, they won a contract from the U.S. Navy for lightweight plywood leg splints for wounded servicemen — they are coveted collectibles today; more so those that Ray used to make sculptures.

The Navy contract allowed Charles to open a professional studio, and the attention-grabbing plywood furniture the firm produced prompted George Nelson, the director of design of the furniture-maker Herman Miller Inc., to enlist Charles and (by association, if not by contract) Ray in 1946. Some of the first Eames items to emerge from Herman Miller are now classics: the LCW, or Lounge Chair Wood, and the DCM, or Dining Chair Metal, supported by tubular steel.

The Eameses eagerly embraced new technology and materials, and one of their peculiar talents was to imbue their supremely modern design with references to folk traditions. Their Wire chair group of the 1950s, for example, was inspired by basket weaving techniques. The populist notion of “good design for all” drove their molded fiberglass chair series that same decade, and also produced the organic-form, ever-delightful La Chaise. In 1956 the Eames lounge chair and ottoman appeared — the supremely comfortable plywood-base-and-leather-upholstery creation that will likely live in homes as long as there are people with good taste and sense.

Charles Eames once said, “The role of the designer is that of a very good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.” For very good collectors and thoughtful interior designers, a piece of design by the Eameses, the closer produced to original conception the better, is almost de rigueur — for its beauty and comfort, and not least as a tribute to the creative legacy and enduring influence of Charles and Ray Eames.

Average Sold Price
$2,935
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Charles and Ray Eames
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
DCM
DCM
Eames Aluminum Group
Eames Aluminum Group
Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
Eames RAR Rocker
Eames RAR Rocker
4 George Nelson & Charles Eames DAF Chairs for Herman Miller
By Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Grand Cayman, KY
Exceptionally original examples. Rare collaboration between Charles Eames and George Nelson for Herman Miller. George Nelson DAF chair designed for the La Fonda base by Charles Eames...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Charles and Ray Eames

Materials

Aluminum

Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller Soft Pad Lounge Chair in Ivory Leather
By Charles and Ray Eames, Herman Miller
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Charles and Ray Eames designed soft pad lounge chair in amazing condition! Bought for a space in 2013, but never installed! Leather is flawless! Aluminum arms are very clean, base sh...
Category

2010s American Mid-Century Modern Charles and Ray Eames

Materials

Aluminum

1940s Walnut Plywood DCW Chairs by Charles & Ray Eames, 4
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
DCW chair, walnut plywood, by designer couple Eames Iconic set of DCW chairs by famous Charles & Ray Eames. The unusual organic shape of the dining chairs makes clear the designer...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Charles and Ray Eames

Materials

Plywood

Customed Order, 3rd Gen Eames Lounge Chair in British Racing Green Leather
By Charles and Ray Eames
Located in Seattle, WA
Please note: Pictures are from the previous customed upholstered Eames Lounge Chair in British Racing Green Leather. Please reach out for images of the current one in restoration. ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles and Ray Eames

Materials

Leather, Rosewood

Herman Miller Vintage Eames DKX Chair Black Upholstered Padded Vinyl Wire Frame
By Charles and Ray Eames, Herman Miller
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Vintage Eames upholstered DKX wire frame chair for Herman Miller on its original low black base. Item features believed to be an original 1st edition vinyl upholstered DKX chair on i...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Charles and Ray Eames

Materials

Metal

Swiveling Task Chair by Charles and Ray Eames
By Charles and Ray Eames, Herman Miller
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A graphic and adjustable swiveling tall armless task chair on an early four pronged base with casters, having a floating circular foot rest.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles and Ray Eames

Materials

Aluminum

Eames for Herman Miller Lemon Yellow Shell Chair
By Charles and Ray Eames, Herman Miller
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Original 1960s molded fiberglass shell chairs on Maple Dowel Base, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller. These distinctly thready 1960s shells have a brilliant canary...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles and Ray Eames

Materials

Fiberglass

Eames RAR Rocking Chair with Bouclé Wool Upholstery by Herman Miller 'Zenith'
By Charles and Ray Eames, Herman Miller, Charles Eames
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Beautiful and iconic mid-1950s RAR rocking armchair in very good condition by Charles and Ray Eames. Newly upholstered in premium Dedar Bouclé white wool and with original base and r...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles and Ray Eames

Materials

Metal

Browse all Furniture from Charles and Ray Eames
Shop Now

Charles and Ray Eames Sellers

Metro Retro Furniture MCM Furniture
4.6 / 5
FRANK LANDAU SELECTED DESIGN OBJECTS & FINE ART, INTERIOR DESIGN
5 / 5
Mainly Art Vintage Modern Furniture
4.8 / 5

Creators Similar to Charles and Ray Eames

Questions About Charles and Ray Eames
  • 1stDibs ExpertAugust 17, 2021
    The best Eames lounge chair reproduction is really a matter of preference. Herman Miller and Vitra currently manufacture the Eames lounge chair and ottoman. On 1stDibs, find a variety of vintage Eames lounge chairs as well as a collection of other seating designed by Charles and Ray Eames.