Essential Eames: Words & Pictures


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A curated collection of photos and primary writings, hand-picked and compiled by the Eames Office.

From the back cover of Essential Eames: Words & Pictures

Charles and Ray Eames are regarded by many as the most influential designers of the twentieth century. Perhaps best known for their timeless furniture designs (Eames Lounge Chair), the husband-and-wife team also made pioneering contributions in the fields of architecture (Eames House), film (Powers of Ten), exhibitions (Mathematica), toys (House of Cards), graphics, and much more.

Underlying all this work was their robust and compelling philosophy of design, which was marked by a deep commitment to the power of process and problem solving, a profound skepticism of style for its own sake, and the essential notion that the designer’s role was that of a good host, anticipating the needs of the guest. Just as important, their work was infused with a joyous spirit, summed up in the expression “Take your pleasure seriously.”

Essential Eames: Words & Pictures draws from their shared lifetime of speeches and writings, as well as an archive of nearly one million photographs taken by the Eameses and their staff over a period of more than four decades.

This book was carefully edited and curated by two of the Eames Office’s five principles: Eames Demetrios, Director, and Carla Hartman, Education Director.

The Eames Office, founded in 1941 by Charles and Ray Eames, remains under the stewardship of the Eames Family in Los Angeles.

With an introduction by Eames Demetrios. Hardcover, 216 pages.

Weight 1.63 lbs
Dimensions 9.4 × 6.5 × .8 in

English, German






Vitra Design Museum

Charles & Ray Eames


Charles Ormand Eames Jr., a nearly-licensed architect born in St. Louis in 1907, and Bearnice Alexandra “Ray” Kaiser, an abstract painter born in Sacramento in 1912, are cemented into the canon of 20th-century design. Since uniting in 1940, these partners in life and work have been internationally recognized at the forefront of the design, architecture, filmmaking, and furniture communities.

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