Charles (Eames) and Ray Eames designed the form-fitting chairs that are so ubiquitous now we forget how dramatic and modern the invention once seemed. They housed their offices in an old auto garage on Washington Boulevard in Venice, encouraging the new fad for transforming factory lofts into galleries and studios. They influenced modern architecture by building a box-like steel and glass home on the Pacific Palisades. And they manipulated a host of different media to bombard the public with images and ideas about a streamlined, modern world anchored in science and technology.
A little more than 20 years after the death of Charles and a little more than 10 years after the death of Ray, their work is being celebrated by an unusual exhibition now at the Library of Congress here. The library, which has a bountiful collection of the papers of the Eameses, and the Vitra Design Museum of Germany, which owns many samples of their furniture, put the materials together to produce the show called "The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention."
After several stops in Europe, the exhibition opened here for a stay through Sept. 4. It goes on to the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in New York and the St. Louis Art Museum before reaching the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on June 25, 2000. After almost three months in Los Angeles, the exhibition then heads for its final site, the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.