Sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas is Miami Art Week, when the artfest that is Art Basel Miami Beach goes full throttle. And because this year we’ve been inspired by all things Eames, we celebrated with a very special evening on CA Modern Home’s turf by hosting An Eames Retrospective.
We wanted to bring the Eames story to life - not just as a treat for the Eames aficionados but to share with all our guests just how the Eames magic happened and how Charles and Ray Eames have influenced almost every aspect of art and design in the US and beyond for decades.
A very special guest
So, on December 3rd 2019, hundreds of designers, architects, educators, and guests packed out our Miami Beach showroom for a cheeky cocktail and to find out more about the Eames’ lives, their design philosophy and their impact on the design world.
CA Modern Home "An Eames Retrospective" event hosted in their Miami Beach showroom Dec. 3, 2019.
And who better to illustrate their story than Charles Eames’ own grandson, Eames Demetrios? Eames is an artist, filmmaker, geographer and design advocate in his own right, and, as executive director of the Eames Office, is proud to be curator and disseminator of the Eames’ legacy, spearheading its re-discovery by a new generation.
Guest speaker Eames Demetrios standing in front of the storyboard which highlights the life of Charles & Ray Eames.
Eames Demetrios has been instrumental in re-introducing a number of key Eames designs and in preserving the Eames House, an icon of mid-century design and architecture located at the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The Eames House is a landmark of mid-century modern architecture. Built in as their studio and home by husband-and-wife design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames. More information: www.eamesfoundation.org.
Eames’ talk was accompanied by an exhibition featuring archival photography, models from the current Herman Miller line, and products from the Eames Office.
Vintage molded fiberglass chair examples, highlighting the Eames' rubber shock mount design, which is still used in today's production.
This Leg splint was designed in 1942, used for carrying wounded servicemen out of combat.
The power couple: a potted history
Charles and Ray Eames met in 1940 while they were both studying at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. His background was in architecture, hers in abstract painting. They married a year later and between them created designs for film, illustrations, textiles and even leg splints for injured servicemen. After the war, they focussed on designing simple, affordable furniture and accessories for the home, and from this was born a starry array of design classics such as the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, the Eames molded shell chairs, and that colorfully fun piece, the Hang-it-All.
Eames Demetrios kept us spellbound with his memories of Charles and Ray Eames, of the times he spent at the iconic Eames House, and how he got to test out the toys they prototyped. He took us through stories and anecdotes of the Eames’ everyday lives, as well as their playful attitude towards design and love of experimentation; they even invented a home-made machine - called “Kazam!” out of scrap wood and a bicycle pump to make molded plywood furniture.
The primitive "Kazam!" located in their apartment was designed by the Eames to experiment with molding plywood.
Another view of the"Kazam!" and their apartment.
“Art Resides in the quality of doing, process is not magic.”
Alan Brody, Robert Chambers, Jesse Brody (owner of CA Modern Home), and Sherna Brody
Marjorie Guy (sales at CA Modern Home) Eames Demetrios & Jennifer Altadonna (CA Modern Home showroom manager)
Julie Rider (retail marketing manager at Herman Miller) & Wanda Lampe (wholesale operations manager at Herman Miller)