Daughters of Design: Bertoia, Eames and Saarinen

Posted January 25, 2016

February 15, 2016: Join Modernism Week for a lecture and reception at the Palm Springs Art Museum with descendants of legendary designers Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Harry Bertoia.

daughters of design_Eames, Bertoia, Saarinen talk 2016 Plam Springs-Web

Design legends Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames and Harry Bertoia first developed relationships at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan during a magical time when they studied and taught together. All three played significant roles in postwar American design, and their influence is still tremendous today.

Enter Susan Saarinen, Carla (Eames) Hartman, and Celia Bertoia, three descendants of these design icons. Since meeting for the first time in 2007, they’ve shown the same connectedness that brought their famous relatives—two fathers and one grandfather—together at Cranbrook.

At a special event moderated by Design Within Reach, these “Daughters of Design” will “compare chairs and childhoods” via an educational and entertaining presentation filled with stories, family photos, and memorabilia.

Following the lecture, join Design Within Reach and mingle with speakers from “A Day with Herman Miller” during a cocktail reception at a private residence designed by Donald Wexler. Sample hors d’oeuvres and sip cocktails while exploring this iconic home, staged by Herman Miller for Modernism Week. Directions will be provided following the lecture.

More about the panelists

Susan Saarinen, an artist, designer, educator, and landscape architect, will speak about her family history and share childhood memories of her father, architect and designer Eero Saarinen, as well as her grandfather, renowned Finnish architect Eliel, and her grandmother, Louise (Loja), an accomplished weaver.

Carla Hartman, director of education for the Eames Office, will share stories of her time spent in the Eames-designed Case Study House with her grandparents, Charles and Ray Eames, explain how the interplay of light, color, season, and weather continually changed to highlight different features of the space throughout the year, and discuss the legacy the Eameses left for those of us working and playing in the 21st century and beyond: the Eames Principles.

Celia Bertoia, director of the Harry Bertoia Foundation and author of the recently published book, The Life and Work of Harry Bertoia (2015), will talk about the personal side of her father, designer and sculptor Harry Bertoia, the development of his classic wire-frame Diamond Chair and his other work, from jewelry to monumental public sculpture.

Event Details

Monday, February 15, 2016
Lecture 5:00 – 6:30pm;
Reception 6:30 – 8:30pm

$15 Lecture Only;
$100 Lecture + Reception


 Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum
101 N. Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Ample free parking is available in the garage across the street from the museum. The Annenberg Theater entrance is accessed via the lower level of the museum, behind the theater box office in the north parking lot.

Photo Credit: Ryan Batch, Photographer