Skip to main content

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
$7,588
Styles
Materials
Charles & Ray Eames EA117 Office Chair in Black Leather and Chrome, Vitra
By Charles Eames, Vitra, Charles and Ray Eames
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Iconic office chair EA117 belonging to the famous Aluminum Series designed by Charles & Ray Eames for Herman Miller (US) / Vitra (EU). Exceptional comfort is guaranteed with the heig...
Category

1950s German Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Eames

Materials

Aluminum, Chrome

Office Armchair by Charles & Ray Eames for Herman Miller, 1970s
By Charles Eames, Herman Miller
Located in Lasne, BE
Brown leather armchair Swivel seat. Leather worn by time and age of the chair (see picture). Seat height: 45cm
Category

1970s Central American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Eames

Materials

Aluminum

Eames Aluminium Group Lounge Chair and Ottoman for Vitra
By Vitra, Charles Eames
Located in Dronten, NL
Eames aluminum group lounge chair EA 124 with a matching EA125 ottoman in bright red Hopsak, manufactured by Vitra. Marked as pictured. The chair and ottoman are executed in chromed ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Eames

Materials

Aluminum

Mid Century Round Coffee Table Charles Eames Herman Miller
By Charles Eames, Herman Miller
Located in Baltimore, MD
Rare 1950's coffee table designed by Charles Eames for Herman Miller, early production, Aluminum Group. Features a beautifully circular molded laminated Formica white top with grey e...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Eames

Materials

Metal

Six Classic Fiberglass Swivel Side Shell Chairs Charles Eames, Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, Charles Eames
Located in Buffalo, NY
Six Classic Mid-Century Modern fiberglass swivel side shell chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames, manufactured by Herman Miller. Remarkable condition for there age, early example...
Category

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

Materials

Aluminum

Herman Miller Charles Eames Shell Chair Is a Nice Orange on Taupe Fiberglass
By Herman Miller, Charles Eames
Located in Chicago, IL
A very nice color combination of a popping upholstered color on a understated neautral Taupe-ish grey color. need to confirm dims on this chair.
Category

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

Materials

Fiberglass

Eames EA108 Black Netweave Dining Chair by Vitra
By Charles Eames, Charles and Ray Eames, Vitra
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Comfortable dining chairs in very good condition with normal light wear. Lightweight chrome-plated aluminum frame with swivel mechanism and black (very strong) netweave upholstery. S...
Category

1950s German Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Eames

Materials

Aluminum, Chrome

  • Eames EA108 Black Netweave Dining Chair by Vitra
  • Eames EA108 Black Netweave Dining Chair by Vitra
  • Eames EA108 Black Netweave Dining Chair by Vitra
  • Eames EA108 Black Netweave Dining Chair by Vitra
H 32.29 in. W 22.84 in. D 24.41 in.
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

Browse all Furniture from Charles Eames
Shop Now

Charles Eames Sellers

Metro Retro Furniture MCM Furniture
4.6
S E Design London Ltd
5.0
Central Avenue Modern
4.9

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.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Charles and Ray Eames are famous for their chair designs. The couple released their first iconic Eames Lounge and Ottoman in 1956 and went on to create more chairs that changed the idea of comfortable seating. In addition to being great furniture designers, Ray and Charles were also graphic and textile designers, architects and film-makers. Shop a collection of Eames chairs from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Rosewood was the favorite wood of famed American designers Charles and Ray Eames. Rosewood made its way into some of the duo’s most celebrated designs, including the iconic Eames lounge chair. On 1stDibs, you’ll find a collection of genuine Eames furniture from some of the world’s top sellers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    For Charles and Ray Eames’ chairs designed for Herman Miller, molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent and welded wire mesh, and cast aluminum were used in production. You can shop a collection of Eames furniture from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.

Recently Viewed

View More