Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Eames House

The Eames House
203 N. Chautauqua Blvd.
Pacific Palisades, California

We are huge fans of Charles and Ray Eames, known for their innovative furniture, as well as their contributions to architecture, film and graphic design. We actually have several of their pieces in our own home. That is why we would love to make a little trip to LA right now and visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and its show called “California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way,” (runs through March 25). In fact, the Eames House's living room  — all 1,869 items — have been meticulously cataloged and transferred to a replica of the room installed at the museum for the show. To pack up the living room took a week with the aid of two teams, then all the items went into a freezer for five days to kill any possible insect infestations.

Anyways, for all the Eames lovers out there, the Eames House, Case Study House #8, was one of roughly two dozen homes built as part of The Case Study House Program. Begun in the mid-1940s and continuing through the early 1960s, the program was spearheaded by John Entenza, the publisher of Arts and Architecture magazine. The magazine announced that it would be the client for a series of homes designed to express man's life in the modern world. These homes were to be built and furnished using materials and techniques derived from the experiences of the Second World War. Each home would be for a real or hypothetical client taking into consideration their particular housing needs. Charles and Ray proposed that the home they designed would be for a married couple working in design and graphic arts, whose children were no longer living at home. Charles and Ray moved into the House on Christmas Eve, 1949, and lived there for the rest of their lives until their death, his in 1978 and hers 10 years to the day later. They furnished it in a way that mirrored their energetic personalities and curiosity about the world. Strikingly, the 17-foot-high living room was not at all an example of modern design, but instead a comfortable lived-in place. The house is now maintained by the Eames Foundation, set up by Lucia Eames, Mr. Eames’s daughter from his first marriage, and her children. While the family still uses it occasionally, it is a kind of time capsule that shows how the couple lived.
Go to for more information about the house. You can actually hold a wedding or party in the House's meadow, or even spend a night in the Studio where daughter Lucia stayed when she came on visits. That must be a very special experience!

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