Books on Designers

21 Books About Charles and Ray Eames

June 17, 2015

Charles Eames’s birthday is June 17! Our updated list of books from our designers and contributors that include American modern industrial designers Charles (1907–78) and Ray (1912–88) Eames.

Arts & Architecture: The Entenza Years Barbara Goldstein Editor

From the Publisher. This anthology brings together seminal articles from one of America's most distinguished architecture magazines, copies of which are now extremely difficult to locate. Published and edited by John Entenza from 1938 until 1962, when he left to direct the Graham Foundation, Arts & Architecture played a significant role both in Los Angeles's cultural history and in the development of American modernism in general. Arts & Architecture was the first American magazine to popularize the work of Hans Hofmann, Craig Ellwood, Margaret DePatta, George Nakashima, Bernard Rosenthal, Charles Eames, Konrad Wachsmann, and many others. It also embodied the highest standard of graphic design attained by an American art magazine of its time, employing the talents of such designers as Alvin Lustig, Herbert Mattes, and John Follis.

Arts & Architecture: The Entenza Years maintains the large format of the magazine and includes many full-scale reproductions of the original pages. It brings together articles from the years 1943 through 1959, publishing them exactly as they appeared. In keeping with Entenza's tireless advocacy of modernism in all its aspects, the articles cover design, architecture, photography, music, and visual arts. They explore the culture that led to the famous Case Study House program, and feature industrialized and postwar tract housing, as well as houses designed by the Case Study House architects during the same era as the program.

There is an introduction by the editor Barbara Goldstein and an essay on John Entenza by Esther McCoy, who wrote for Arts & Architecture through most of Entenza's period as editor.

Blueprints for Modern Living Elizabeth A. T. Smith Editor

From the Publisher. One of Southern California’s most significant contributions to modern architecture was the Case Study House program sponsored by John Entenza's Art & Architecture magazine. Between 1945 and 1966, thirty-six experimental prototypes were designed and the majority built. Featuring some of the most important architects of the region and generation—including Charles Eames, Craig Ellwood, A. Quincy Jones, Pierre Koenig, Richard Neutra, and Raphael Soriano—the program reflected the modernist goal of reinventing the house as a way of redefining living. A number of the essayists in the book suggest that what made the houses distinctive and influential was not so much their International Style modernism as how that style was domesticated and scaled to the single-family house. . . and how it forecast what came to be known as the California lifestyle.

In addition to the eight main essays, the book, which was based on a 1989-1990 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, contains entries by the exhibition curator, Elizabeth A. T. Smith, and research assistant Amelia Jones on the thirty-six Case Study projects, documentation of six projects commissioned by MOCA, biographies of the thirty architects involved in the program, and a wealth of photographs, drawings, plans, and scale models.

California Design 1930–1965 Wendy Kaplan Editor

Featured at the Designers & Books Online Book Fair

From the Publisher. In 1951, designer Greta Magnusson Grossman observed that California design was “not a superimposed style, but an answer to present conditions. . . . It has developed out of our own preferences for living in a modern way.” California design influenced the material culture of the entire country, in everything from architecture to fashion. This generously illustrated book, which accompanies a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is the first comprehensive examination of California’s midcentury modern design. It begins by tracing the origins of a distinctively California modernism in the 1930s by such European émigrés as Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, and Kem Weber; it finds other specific design influences and innovations in solid-color commercial ceramics, inspirations from Mexico and Asia, new schools for design training, new concepts about leisure, and the conversion of wartime technologies to peacetime use (exemplified by Charles and Ray Eames’s plywood and fiberglass furniture).

The heart of California Design is the modern California home, famously characterized by open plans conducive to outdoor living. The layouts of modernist homes by Pierre Koenig, Craig Ellwood, and Raphael Soriano, for example, were intended to blur the distinction between indoors and out. Homes were furnished with products from Heath Ceramics, Van Keppel-Green, and Architectural Pottery as well as other, previously unheralded companies and designers. Many objects were designed to be multifunctional: pool and patio furniture that was equally suitable indoors, lighting that was both task and ambient, bookshelves that served as room dividers, and bathing suits that would turn into ensembles appropriate for indoor entertainment.

California Design includes 350 images, most in color, of furniture, ceramics, metalwork, architecture, graphic and industrial design, film, textiles, and fashion, and ten incisive essays that trace the rise of the California design aesthetic.

Catalogue of the exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “California Design, 1930–1965: ‘Living in a Modern Way,’” October 1, 2011–June 3, 2012.

Charles and Ray Eames Pat Kirkham

From the Publisher. Charles and Ray Eames, perhaps the most famous partnership of 20th-century America, did pioneering work in furniture, film, architecture and exhibition design. Out of respect for Charles's wishes, no book on them was published during their lifetime. In Charles and Ray Eames Pat Kirkham interprets their work in depth, probing the lives behind the designs and the nature of the collaboration. In researching this work, Kirkham had full access to the Eames archive and co-operation from the Eame's clients and associates. The result is a study of the designers and of their work from 1941 to 1978, including a re-evaluation of Ray's role. After discussing the early careers of both Charles and Ray, Kirkham considers their joint work against the background of contemporary socio-economic and design developments. There is a recounting of their early careers and an examination of their multimedia presentations, exhibitions and films. Kirkham looks at the films in the context of an avant-garde tradition and in an industrial film-making tradition and takes up their role in popularizing the computer.

A Computer Perspective Charles Eames
Ray Eames
Glen Fleck Editor

From the Publisher. A Computer Perspective is an illustrated essay on the origins and first lines of development of the computer. The complex network of creative forces and social pressures that have produced the computer is personified here in the creators of instruments of computation, and their machines or tables; the inventors of mathematical or logical concepts and their applications; and the fabricators of practical devices to serve the immediate needs of government, commerce, engineering, and science. The book is based on an exhibition conceived and assembled for International Business Machines Corporation. Like the exhibition, it is not a history in the narrow sense of a chronology of concepts and devices. Yet these pages actually display more true history (in relation to the computer) than many more conventional presentations of the development of science and technology.

Design 1935–1965: What Modern Was Martin Eidelberg Editor

From the Publisher (Abrams). This mammoth repository of images and essays redefines mid-century modernism. A stunning showcase." -Publishers Weekly "Comprehensive, well-written, engaging." -ARTnews Design 1935-1965: What Modern Was presents a definitive and distinct perspective on the decorative arts of the mid-20th century - a period that has only grown in popularity since the book was first published in 1991. With 37 new full-color plates of formerly black-and-white images, it is certain to be reaffirmed as a classic of design literature. The encyclopedic, stunningly illustrated volume spotlights seminal objects from the period's most significant innovators, including the Eames’s iconic chairs; Noguchi’s sculptural lamps; Sottsass’s early, rebellious furniture; as well as jewelry, ceramics, and textiles by a range of contemporary masters. Renowned historian Paul Johnson’s thought-provoking essay provides a sociopolitical context for the works, and noted experts in various design fields offer a wealth of information.

Design of the 20th Century Charlotte Fiell
Peter Fiell

From the Publisher. Poised at the start of the 21st century, we can see clearly that the previous century was marked by momentous changes in the field of design. Aesthetics entered into everyday life with often staggering results. Our homes and workplaces turned into veritable galleries of style and innovation. 

From furniture to graphics, its all here - the work of artists who have shaped and recreated the modern world with a dizzying variety of materials. From the organic to the geometric, from Art Deco, through to Pop and High-Tech, this book contains all the great names - Bernhard Bertoia, De Stijl, Dieter Rams, Philippe Starck, Charles and Ray Eames, to name only a very few. This essential book is a comprehensive journey through the shapes and colors, forms and functions of design history in the 20th century. An A-Z of designers and design schools, which builds into a complete picture of contemporary living. Lavishly illustrated, this is design in the fullest sense.

An Eames Anthology Charles Eames
Ray Eames
Daniel Ostroff Editor

From the Publisher. An Eames Anthology collects for the first time the writings of the esteemed American architects and designers Charles and Ray Eames, illuminating their marriage and professional partnership of fifty years. More than 120 primary-source documents and 200 illustrations highlight iconic projects such as the Case Study Houses and the molded plywood chair, as well as their work for major corporations as both designers (Herman Miller, Vitra) and consultants (IBM, Polaroid). Previously unpublished materials appear alongside published writings by and about the Eameses and their work, lending new insight into their creative process. Correspondence with such luminaries as Richard Neutra and Eero Saarinen provides a personal glimpse into the advance of modernity in mid-century America.

Eames: Beautiful Details Eames Demetrios
Gloria Fowler Editor
Steve Crist Editor

From the Publisher. Charles and Ray Eames are among the greatest designers of the 20th century. They are, of course, most well known for their groundbreaking and iconic furniture designs, but they also created important, creative, experimental, and beautiful work in the areas of architecture, exhibit design, textile design, product design, graphic design, toy design, film, and photography. This massive monograph celebrates Ray's centennial anniversary and the Eameses' incredibly diverse interdisciplinary work in depth, including many never-before-published images. Additionally, the book is authored by three generations of the Eames family, including quotes and essays by: Charles and Ray, daughter Lucia Eames, and all five of her children. This very intimate and loving tribute to the Eameses includes personal letters, family photos, and images that document the poetic ephemera of their everyday life, making this book the definitive Eames monograph.

Also see the 2014 edition of Eames: Beautiful Details.

Eames Gloria Koenig
Peter Gössel

# 1 Design Best Seller at Powell’s, Portland, OR (November 2013). From the Publisher. Nothing says modernist perfection like an Eames design. Though they are best known to the general public for their furniture, the husband and wife duo of Charles and Ray Eames (1907–78 and 1912–88, respectively) were also forerunners in the fields of architecture, industrial design, photography, and film. This book covers all the aspects of their illustrious career, from the earliest furniture experiments and molded plywood designs to the Case Study Houses to their work for Herman Miller and films such as the seminal short, Powers of Ten.

Eames Design John Neuhart
Marilyn Neuhart
Ray Eames

From the Publisher. Eames Design is the definitive study of the work of the extraordinarily prolific husband-and-wife team whose creative imprint revolutionized the look of postwar American society. Now back in print, this groundbreaking book remains the most complete catalog of their studio ever produced, examining in considerable depth every project--more than 200 in all--produced by the Eameses and their office of topflight designers from 1941 to 1978.

An Eames Primer: Revised Edition Eames Demetrios

The first book to capture the philosophy and spirit behind the work of Charles and Ray Eames, An Eames Primer offers an in-depth look at the couple's prolific legacy--one that has placed them among the most important American designers of the twentieth century. Those who know one or two aspects of the Eameses' work are often surprised to learn just how far and vast their range extended. Yet throughout their myriad works, from architecture and furniture to exhibition design and filmmaking, their core philosophy prevails. An Eames Primer is the first book to illuminate this seamless connection. Author Eames Demetrios explores the rich energy of the Eameses' world from a unique perspective, informed by his close relationship with Charles and Ray. He shares personal anecdotes, previously unpublished photos, and his extensive interviews with former friends and colleagues of the Eameses to make connections between the Eameses' influential philosophy and their widely admired work. For those unacquainted with the designers, the stories behind the design process will inform, entertain, and inspire, while readers with an extensive knowledge of the Eameses' work gain a deeper level of understanding their process. Compact and highly accessible, An Eames Primer is the definitive introduction to the life of this century's most influential designers.

An Exhibition for Modern Living Alexander Girard

From Modernism 101. Exhibition catalogue of the best of American postwar modern design (c. 1949), including furniture, fabrics, household products, typewriters, cutlery, appliances, toys, interiors, glass, etc. Articles by John Kouwenhoven and Edgar Kaufmann Jr. An important exhibition catalogue of the landmark postwar exhibition held from September 11 to November 20, 1949. This exhibition has achieved legendary status in the pantheon of American modernism, due to Girard's stewardship and the site-specific custom room installations by Alvar Aalto, Bruno Mathsson, Jens Risom, Florence Knoll (ably assisted by Eero Saarinen, Franco Albini, Pierre Jeanneret, Abel Sorensen, Andre Dupres and Hans Bellmann), Van-Keppel Green, George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, and others.

On list of 9 Books from the Good Design Movement.

50 Designers You Should Know Claudia Hellmann
Nina Kozel

From the Publisher. They’ve shaped our modern age, whether it’s the chair we’re sitting in, the computer we’re reading on, or the house we’re living in. Design is everywhere, and this volume profiles 50 of the most influential figures of the past century. From the first bentwood chairs by Thonet to the holistically designed worlds of Bauhaus and Le Corbusier, and from the signature styles of designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Eileen Gray, and Philippe Starck to internationally known brands like Swatch, Muji, and Apple, the designers here are profiled in double-page spreads packed with fascinating background information, photographs, and illustrations. As inspiring as it is informative, this far-reaching book celebrates the impact that design has on our daily lives.

Handbook of California Design, 1930-1965 Bobbye Tigerman Editor

Featured at the Designers & Books Online Book Fair

From the Publisher. Mid-20th-century California offered fertile ground for design innovations. The state’s reputation as a land of unlimited opportunity, its many institutions of higher learning, and its perpetually booming population created conditions that allowed designers and craftspeople to flourish. They found an eager market among educated and newly affluent Californians, and their products shaped the material culture of the entire nation. This book, a companion to the popular 2011 MIT Press/LACMA publication California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way," reveals the complex web of influences, collaborations, institutional affiliations, and social networks that fueled the California design economy. This book offers more than 140 illustrated biographical profiles of the most significant mid-century California designers, including such famous names as Saul Bass and Charles and Ray Eames as well as many lesser known but influential practitioners. These designers, craftspeople, and manufacturers worked in the full range of design media, creating furniture, fashion, textiles, jewelry, ceramics, and graphic and industrial design. Each entry includes a succinct biography, a portrait of the designer or image of an important design, cross-references to other entries, and a list of sources for further research. Significant examples of California design and craft objects are featured in more than 180 illustrations and rare photographs. Created by internationally renowned graphic designer Irma Boom, the book is a beautifully crafted object in its own right. It will become an indispensable resource for all those interested in modern design.

The Herman Miller Collection George Nelson

Furniture designed by George Nelson, Charles Eames, Isamu Noguchi, and Paul Laszlo for the Herman Miller Co.

On list of 9 Books from the Good Design Movement.

Organic Design in Home Furnishings Eliot Noyes

From Modernism 101. The winning entries in the legendary 1940 Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) competition which introduced the furniture designs of Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen to the world. In 1940, these two Cranbrook partners stunned the judges at the MoMA competition for Home Furnishings with their Seating and Living Room designs—and the rest is history. Important early document of the partnership that eventually spawned the much-loved designs for Herman Miller and Knoll.

On list of 9 Books from the Good Design Movement.

Prize Designs for Modern Furniture Edgar Kaufmann Jr.

“Prize Designs for Modern Furniture from the International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design.”

From Modernism 101. Photographs and diagrams of the winning entries in the legendary 1949 MoMA International competition which introduced the experimental plastic furniture designs of Charles Eames to the world. In 1948, Eames and his co-workers partnered with the University of California (Los Angeles Campus) to develop a method of mass-producing plastic chairs, and the rest is history. Important early document of the partnership that eventually spawned the much-loved designs for Zenith/Herman Miller/Modernica.

A magnificent snapshot of the way the modern movement was blossoming in the days after World War II. Includes some nice insights into the postwar Chicago Industrial Design scene centered around the Institute of Design and the Armour Research Foundation.

On list of 9 Books from the Good Design Movement.

The Story of Eames Furniture Marilyn Neuhart
John Neuhart

From the Publisher. In this unique 2-volume, approximately 800-page book with more than 2,500 images, Marilyn Neuhart tells the story—to paraphrase Charles Eames himself—of how Eames furniture got to be the way it is. The Story of Eames Furniture is the benchmark reference on the subject. It is a biography—not of an individual person, but of arguably the most influential and important furniture brand of our time.

Through intense and self-critical teamwork, the Eames Office was the first to translate the theoretical approach of the Bauhaus into commercially successful design for a mass market. One can hardly exaggerate the relevance of Eames’s modern concept of design. In many cases the success of the pieces is based on the Office's own development and perfection of production processes for its designs.

The concepts that originated in the Eames Studio made a fundamental impact on modern design. Its furniture still tops bestseller lists and, decades later, the pieces have not lost any of their original elegance, timelessness, freshness, and quality. Its combination of conceptual consistency, aesthetic mastery, and almost scientific persistence is particularly inspirational for young designers today.

The Story of Eames Furniture was written and designed by Marilyn Neuhart together with her husband John. Both have worked at the Eames Office in various capacities since the 1950s. They have looked after the house of Charles and Ray Eames since the designers’ deaths and have supervised the Eames Archive. More familiar with the material and protagonists than almost any other, Marilyn Neuhart has spent the last 15 years compiling the stories, images, and recollections featured in this book.

A Taxonomy of Office Chairs Jonathan Olivares

From the Publisher. Details over 180 of the most innovative office chairs designed and built from the 1840s to the present, with a color photograph, details of the designer and manufacturer, and a short text accompanying each chair. Features designs from numerous well-known designers, including Marcel Breuer, Charles and Ray Eames, Gio Ponti, Richard Sapper, Jasper Morrison and Konstantin Grcic. Gives a visual overview of the entire evolution of the modern office chair. Includes ten chapters of technical drawings, comprising over 400 drawings, underlining the exhaustive research and technical prowess behind the book. The fruition of an authoritative four-year research project which will appeal to product designers, furniture manufacturers, design enthusiasts and students, furniture collectors, and anyone needing to buy an office chair.

Modern California Houses: Case Study Houses 1945–1962 Esther McCoy

As a contributing editor to Arts & Architecture magazine, Esther McCoy was in a unique position to chronicle the brilliant trajectory of the Case Study House (CSH) program. Her insider status gave her unparalleled access to the key figures in the program, and this original 1962 first edition remains the definitive work on the CSH program.

This volume contains extensive information and photographs of the following designers and architects work: Thornton M. Abell, Conrad Buff III, Calvin C. Straub, Donald C. Hensman, Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, J. R. Davidson, A. Quincy Jones, Frederick E. Emmons, Don R. Knorr, Edward A. Killingsworth, Jules Brady, Waugh Smith, Pierre Koenig, Kemper Nomland, Kemper Nomland Jr., Richard Neutra, Ralph Rapson, Raphael S. Soriano, Whitney R. Smith, Sumner Spaulding, John Rex, Rodney Walker, William Wilson Wurster, Theodore C. Bernardi, and Craig Ellwood.

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