Eames in Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America

Posted August 9, 2018

September 28, 2018 – January 6, 2019, in Milwaukee | May 5 – August 25, 2019, in Colorado: Discover how play inspired experimentation and problem-solving in the work of Charles and Ray Eames and other designers.

Image of the Eames House of Cards by Charles and Ray Eames. © Eames Office, LLC

Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America
 explores the intersection between play and design in the 1950s and ’60s, delving into projects by more than 40 designers who demonstrated playfulness and whimsy within their creations for corporations, domestic interiors, and children.

The exhibition examines the confluence of circumstances that encouraged this playfulness in designers’ and architects’ work: New material and manufacturing technologies; an emerging interest in child development; a growing post-war middle class; a rapid rise in American consumerism, and a public desire to offset Cold War anxieties.

See how play fostered both experimentations and problem-solving in creating furniture, toys, textiles, films, posters, ceramics, models, playground equipment, and much more.

Many of the Eames objects on view in the exhibition are on loan from the Eames Collections, LLC.

Co-organized by Milwaukee Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum, the show will run from September 28, 2018 – January 6, 2019, in Wisconsin, and from May 5 – August 25, 2019, in Colorado.



September 28, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Milwaukee Art Museum
700 N. Art Museum Drive
MilwaukeeWI 53202
Phone: 414.224.3200

May 5, 2019 – August 25, 2019
Denver Art Museum
100 W. 14th Avenue Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
Phone: 720.865.5000