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Paperback | $47.95 Trade | £33.95 | ISBN: 9780262611398 | 498 pp. | 7.7 x 9.8 in | March 1998

Charles and Ray Eames

Designers of the Twentieth Century


Charles and Ray Eames, perhaps the most famous design partnership of twentieth-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. Now Pat Kirkham interprets their work in depth, probing the lives behind the designs and the nature of the collaboration. In researching this major work, Kirkham had full access to the Eames archive and cooperation from the Eameses' clients and associates. The result is a richly detailed study of these remarkable designers and of their work from 1941 to 1978, including a substantial reevaluation of Ray's role. There is much here that will be new to readers who may be broadly familiar with the Eameses' work, particularly in the recounting of their early careers and in the examination of their multimedia presentations, exhibitions, and films.


“Kirkham's thorough discussion of the Eameses' lesser knowncontributions to design and film and the personal working dynamicbetween the two partners provides a well-rounded perspective of one ofthe great design partnerships of the 20th century.”
Katherine Kai-sun ChiaArchitectural Record


“This long-awaited study offers important new insights into the Charles and Ray Eames partnership. Kirkham’s thorough and penetrating analysis of the Eameses’ life and work—as individuals and in collaboration—positions their achievement within a social and cultural framework that adds immeasurably to our understanding of its significance. An exemplary revisionist history, it is also a lucid and immensely readable chronicle of one of the best-known, yet heretofore less rigorously studied, chapters in twentieth-century design.”
Elizabeth A. T. Smith, Curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

“Charles and Ray Eames made an extraordinary contribution to the way we think about design. This book demonstrates the depth and significance of the contribution.”
Milton Glaser

“Pat Kirkham has provided us with a new set of lenses with which to view the life and work of the twentieth century’s most important design couple.”
Michael and Katherine McCoy, Co-chairs, Design Department, Cranbrook Academy of Art