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2 Seat Sofa Settee by Charles and Ray Eames, Teak and Black Leather
About the Item
- Dimensions:Height: 32 in (81.28 cm)Width: 55 in (139.7 cm)Depth: 32 in (81.28 cm)Seat Height: 17.5 in (44.45 cm)
- Style:Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:1990s
- Condition:This example is in very good condition with no tears, holes or repairs to the leather and the wood and aluminum frame show minimal signs of use. The seat cushions show even attractive wear to the leather surface.
- Seller Location:Kansas City, MO
- Reference Number:1stDibs: LU1057029479542
Charles and Ray Eames
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 (1907–78) studied architecture and industrial design. Ray (née Beatrice Alexandra Kaiser, 1912–88) 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 (the legendary institution 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.
No other business of its kind did more than the Herman Miller Furniture Company to introduce modern design into American homes. Working with legendary designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Alexander Girard, the Zeeland, Michigan-based firm fostered some of the boldest expressions of what we now call mid-century modern style. In doing so, Herman Miller produced some of the most beautiful, iconic and, one can even say, noblest furniture ever.
Founded in 1923, Herman Miller was originally known for grand historicist bedroom suites: heavily ornamented wood furniture that appealed to a high-minded, wealthier clientele. The company — named for its chief financial backer — began to suffer in the early 1930s as the Great Depression hit, and D.J. De Pree, the company’s CEO, feared bankruptcy. In 1932, aid came in the form of Gilbert Rohde, a self-taught furniture designer who had traveled widely in Europe, absorbing details of the Art Deco movement and other modernist influences. After persuading De Pree that the growing middle-class required smaller, lighter household furnishings, Rohde set a new course for Herman Miller, creating sleek chairs, tables and cabinetry that were the essence of the Streamline Moderne style.
Rohde died suddenly in 1944. The following year, De Pree turned to George Nelson, an architect who had written widely about modern furniture design. Under Nelson’s leadership, Herman Miller would embrace new technologies and materials and audacious biomorphic forms. Some of the pieces the company produced are now emblems of 20th century American design, including the Eames lounge chair and ottoman and Nelson’s Marshmallow sofa and Coconut chair. As you can see on 1stDibs, such instantly recognizable furnishings have become timeless — staples of a modernist décor; striking, offbeat notes in traditional environments.
Shipping & Returns
- ShippingRetrieving quote...Ships From: Kansas City, MO
- Return Policy
A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.
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