Ray’s Arts & Architecture magazine covers

April42

With her background in abstract painting, Ray designed 26 covers for Arts & Architecture issues between 1942 and 1947A majority of the cover designs highlighted her interest in collage and her tendency to interweave biomorphic forms with splashes of color. Her later designs evolved into imagery that was quite geometric and photographic. 

In collaboration with the Eames Office, our partner Vitra now produces three of Ray’s covers as quality screen prints on uncoated design paper. Visit the Eames Shop to learn more and take one home today.

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California Arts & Architecture began in 1929 as a merger between two existing trade magazines, Pacific Coast Architect and California Southland. Editor Harris Allen ran issues approximately 80 pages in length and filled with advertisements and features on residential design. The publication did not focus on Modernism, nor was it even a slight thought. The homes were within the realm of the Tudor, Spanish, Georgian, and Mediterranean styles.

The magazine was widely circulated and appreciated until the years of the Great Depression, at which point they severed the issues to less than 30 pages. Harris’s California Arts & Architecture declared bankruptcy in 1938. At that time, John Entenza purchased the magazine and transformed its pages into a modernist haven for design, music, film, and—of course—art and architecture.

The publication accidentally left off the word “California” on the cover of the September 1943 issue and permanently abandoned it in February 1944. By that point, the magazine interested a far-reaching audience beyond California.

Charles and Ray Eames became friendly with John Entenza as soon as they relocated to Los Angeles from Michigan in 1941. The editorial advisory board of Arts & Architecture boasted big names in design, like architect Richard Neutra and graphic designer Herbert Matter. Ray served on this Editorial Advisory Board, and Charles was listed as an Editorial Associate.