Charles Eames' Photography

Born in 1907, Charles realized his passion for architecture when he was just 14 years old. A star student, he received an architectural scholarship to attend Washington University in St. Louis. After just two years though, Charles left the university amidst arguments with the administration’s refusal to feature modern architects in their curriculum.

Charles opened two different architectural offices before catching the eye of Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, whom after working together offered him a fellowship to Cranbrook Academy of Art. There, Charles met Ray.

Together, the two of them redefined the design world and what it means to be an artist. Charles’ ideology of form, function and quality above all else is present in all Eames Office works. Beauty was to be found in the utility of a design — as a by-product of rational decisions. In film he found structure and meaning, the same thing that drove him to architecture. It follows then, that he would make a film about his own home, which he designed.

As he once said about designing the Eames House, “The house must make no insistent demand for itself, but rather aid as a back ground for life in work. This house acts as re-orientor and shock absorber.”

The home was featured in the 1955 film, House: After Five Years of Living — an experimental film made solely from still images. In this way, viewers were able to “experience” the house by concentrating on its parts and details, or the intimate but otherwise small and unimportant moments. The film is imbued with the romantic sensibility of its producers and the homeowners, and here, for the first time, you can own a glimpse into the world and life of Charles Eames.