In 1959, Charles and Ray Eames debuted their first multi-screen film, Glimpses of the USA, at the American National Exhibition in Moscow, thereby introducing “the man on the street in Russia” to average Americans. To assist in their efforts with this film, legendary Time Inc. founder, Henry Luce, gave the husband-and-wife team free access to the Time/Life Library of photos. One year later, Luce called in a favor, asking the Eameses to design the lobbies for his new Time & Life Building in Manhattan.
One of the designs Charles and Ray came up with for the lobbies was a plush, padded, leather swivel chair. Their goal was to create something smaller than the Eames Lounge Chair that brought the same comfort and that one could also use as a conference chair. The earliest examples became known as the “Time Life Lobby Chairs.” The design consists of three individual upholstered sections connected by aluminum sides. Over the years, various versions have been produced, but they all have one thing in common: outstanding comfort.
In 1972, the American chess grandmaster, Bobby Fischer, specifically requested this chair design for his match with Russian opponent, Boris Spassky. Fischer explained that it was the only seat in which he could really concentrate. Spassky then made the same demand, prompting the tournament’s sponsors to hurriedly acquire a second Eames chair for the match.