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Charles Eames

American, 1907-1978

The legacy of Charles Eames looms large in design. In partnership with his wife, Ray, Charles was at the forefront of pioneering innovation in the use of molded plywood for furniture making. The Eameses’ cheerful and inviting work has endured among the most important advancements in the history of 20th-century design.

Together, visionary mid-century modern duo Charles and Ray Eames introduced a wide range of renowned furniture to the postwar market, including iconic designs such as the Eames lounge chair and ottoman, the wildly colorful birch plywood-and-plastic-laminate Eames storage unit, the Eames compact sofa and more. The designers were trailblazers in molded plywood furniture and brought lively organic form to metal and plastic.

Charles Eames studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He traveled to Mexico and Europe, and experienced firsthand the work of designer-architects Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In 1930, upon returning to Missouri, Eames opened an architecture practice with Charles M. Gray but later moved to Michigan in 1938. He received a fellowship at Cranbrook Academy of Art, which would become a breeding ground for the stars of mid-century design. Eames continued his architecture studies at Cranbrook and also taught in the design department.

In 1940, Eames met his future wife, artist and designer Beatrice Alexandra "Ray" Kaiser, who was studying at Cranbrook under Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann. Charles teamed up with another Cranbrook instructor, Finnish-American designer Eero Saarinen, to explore the possibilities of plywood for use in furniture design.

With support from Ray, Charles and Eero created chairs and case pieces and submitted them to the “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” competition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City — among them was the groundbreaking organic Side chair made of molded plywood with maple legs. It was upholstered by Heywood-Wakefield. This exhibition is considered critical by many to the popularization of what is known as mid-century modernism. Eames and Saarinen won first place for their submissions to the competition.

Charles and Ray were married in 1941 and soon after moved to Los Angeles, California, and lived in an apartment building designed by architect Richard Neutra. Charles worked on set design at MGM, and at night, in a humble workshop they established in the guest bedroom, he and Ray experimented with molded plywood on a homemade device they called the “Kazaam!” machine. In 1942, the couple won a U.S. Navy contract to create molded plywood leg splints that would be used to support wartime medical efforts. Soon, the Evans Product Company was making the splints and the Eameses opened the famed Eames Office and studio.

The Eameses’ innovative use of wire framing, molded plywood and applied fabrics caught the attention of many notable figures in interior design and architecture, including George Nelson, director of design at Herman Miller, a now-legendary modern furniture manufacturer. The company enlisted the Eameses’ talents and was eventually home to the couple’s classic pieces such as the Eames DCW chair and the DCM chair.

Find an extensive array of vintage Charles Eames seating, tables and case pieces on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$7,909
Styles
Materials
Charles Eames for Herman Miller Fiberglass Swivel Dining Chairs / modern white
By Charles Eames, Herman Miller
Located in Buffalo, NY
iconic design classic from the Mid-Century Modern period. This vintage fiberglass shell chair was designed by Charles Eames and produced by Herman Miller, 1960s,,, Amazing original ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Eames

Materials

Aluminum

6 Limited Edition Charles Eames for Herman Miller DCM in Tri-Color Hairy Hide
By Charles Eames, Herman Miller
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Set of 6 Limited Edition Charles Eames for Herman Miller DCM in Tri-Color Hairy Hide, 1998. This rare set of DCM chairs were only produced for a short period of time and were a part ...
Category

1990s American Mid-Century Modern Charles Eames

Materials

Cowhide, Ash

Eames Lounge Chair et Ottoman, Tan / Rosewood, Herman Miller Edition
By Charles Eames
Located in Saint Ouen, FR
Eames lounge chair- Herman Miller Edition Cognac color Charles Eames Edition Herman Miller 2009 / 2010 Ensemble fauteuil et son ottoman Combinaison palissandre / Cuir Tan Brand new ...
Category

2010s American Charles Eames

Materials

Leather, Rosewood

Never-Used Rosewood Eames #670 Lounge Chair for Herman Miller, c 1979, Signed
By Charles and Ray Eames, Charles Eames, Herman Miller
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This is a unique and an incredible opportunity for a collector to acquire a very special never-used example of the Eames Lounge Chair (model #670) in classic black leather and Rosewo...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Eames

Materials

Aluminum

Charles Eames Naugha Monster Doll
By Charles Eames
Located in Riverdale, NY
In 1960, Charles Eames designed the “Nauga Monster” to promote the launch of Uniroyal’s Naugahyde brand of artificial leather (or “pleather”). The campaign humorously claimed that Na...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Eames

Materials

Naugahyde

  • Charles Eames Naugha Monster Doll
  • Charles Eames Naugha Monster Doll
  • Charles Eames Naugha Monster Doll
  • Charles Eames Naugha Monster Doll
H 15 in. W 23 in. D 3 in.
Eames for Herman Miller Executive Soft-Pad Tilt/Swivel Lounge Chair and Ottoman
By Charles Eames
Located in San Francisco, CA
This classic design of aluminum construction with burgundy leather; original design from 1958, Eames Aluminum Group; 1980's; see '1000 chairs' by Charlotte and Peter Fiell pgs. 338-3...
Category

1990s North American Modern Charles Eames

Materials

Aluminum

Aluminum Group Desk Chairs by Charles Eames for Herman Miller, Signed
By Herman Miller, Charles and Ray Eames, Charles Eames
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This classic and stylish 'Aluminum Group' executive desk chair by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller. Signed underneath seat with Herman Miller labels and production date Septem...
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Charles Eames

Materials

Aluminum

Original Eames Leather Aluminum Group Side Chairs Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, Charles Eames
Located in Opa Locka, FL
Eames swivel leather aluminum group side chairs. Chairs are from 2007 and 2009. We believe the leather is the chocolate color. Eighteen chairs available.
Category

Early 2000s American Modern Charles Eames

Materials

Aluminum

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Charles Eames Sellers

Charles Eames furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Charles Eames' furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Charles Eames collection of furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock are 163 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 1 modern edition to choose from. Many of Charles Eames' original furniture was created in the Mid-Century Modern style in North America during the 20th century. Many customers also consider furniture by Craft Associates, Arthur Umanoff and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, if you’re looking for additional options. The prices for Charles Eames furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $500 and tops out at $138,761, while pieces like these can sell for $2,500 on average.
Questions About Charles Eames
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Charles and Ray Eames have been recognized as the 20th century’s most influential designers and are best known for their highly recognizable chairs. The Eames lounge chair and ottoman are an iconic duo in modern-styled furniture, and s​ome 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. Find vintage Charles and Ray Eames furniture on 1stDibs.

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