In 1959 Alexander Girard was commissioned to design the interior of the New York restaurant La Fonda del Sol, a commission for which Charles and Ray Eames designed the seating.
Yet whereas the La Fonda dining chair and La Fonda side chair are well-known, if currently out of production, components of the Eames’ canon, what of the La Fonda bar stool…….
An Alma Mater; An Academy of Art; A colony of experimentation
Wandering aimlessly through the digital Marcel Breuer Archive one afternoon, we stumbled across a letter dated July 25th 1950 from Peter M Fraser, one of Breuer’s employees, to the Eames Office, enquiring about a lighting design by Charles and Ray that Breuer was interested in using in one of his architectural projects, and requesting…
…”a lighting design by Charles and Ray”???
Eames furniture ✔ Eames toys ✔ Eames exhibitions ✔ Eames textiles ✔ Eames films ✔ Eames photography ✔
But where is the lighting design in the portfolio of Charles and Ray Eames…?
On May 17th 1955 Charles Eames*, as assignor to the Herman Miller Furniture Company, was granted US patent 2,708,476 for a “Furniture Frame Construction”, specifically for, “a skeleton type metal furniture frame or shell construction” formed from “a plurality of lengths of wire arranged in crossed relation with another plurality of lengths of wire and welded thereto at their intersection…”1
A patent which although important and interesting in itself, is and was in many regards just as important and interesting for developments that arose on account of it. And for what its (hi)story can teach us about the work of Charles and Ray Eames……..
In these dispatches we once doubted the prevalence of designer furniture in comics, noting and acknowledging the regular appearance of popular furniture designs in other visual media, we, off-handedly, opined, “… Designer furniture in a comic?”
Elegantly proving us very, very wrong the Vitra Design Museum’s exhibition Living in a Box. Design and Comics not only explores the use and depiction of designer furniture and lighting in comics, but also considers how comics have contributed to and influenced furniture and lighting design.
With their 1997 exhibition The Work of Charles and Ray Eames the Vitra Design Museum staged one of the first major Charles and Ray Eames retrospectives
Twenty years later they return to two of the 20th century’s most important creatives with An Eames Celebration: less of Charles and Ray, and more of the diversity, depth and continuing relevance of their work.
The September architecture and design exhibition recommendations are arguably the cruellest to write: the fact that the majority of the exhibitions end in the depths of the European winter meaning that as we sit here hoping that summer keeps going just a little, little, longer…. we’re forced to think about winter jackets and gloves.
And so before things get that far, best get out there and visit an exhibition!! Our five recommendations for September 2017 feature new exhibitions in Weil am Rhein, Los Angeles, Utrecht, Frankfurt and Malmö…….
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