Ray Eames (b. Bernice Alexandra Kaiser 1912-88) was an American designer. She was born in Sacramento, California. She was the wife of Charles Eames. In creative partnership with her spouse Charles Eames and the Eames Office, she was responsible for groundbreaking contributions in the field of architecture, furniture design, industrial design, manufacturing and the photographic arts.
Between 1933-39, she studied with Hans Hofmann, New York, Gloucester, and Provincetown, Massachusetts; and weaving, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomingfield Hills, Michigan, under Marianne Strengel.
She changed her name in 1954 to Ray Bernice Alexandra Kaiser. In 1936, became a founding member of the group American Abstract Artists. In 1941, she married Charles Eames; her gold wedding ring was designed and made by Harry Bertoia. In 1941, they settled in Southern California. In 1942, she produced her first plywood sculpture. Between 1942-48, designed covers for the journals Arts and Architecture and, 1948-53, magazine advertisements for her and her husband’s furniture for Herman Miller. From the late 1940s, she and Charles Eames worked collaboratively, and all of his work should be attributed mutually.
Work first shown at the 1937 American Abstract Artists Exhibition, Riverside Museum, New York, and paintings in a 1944 group show, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
A sample of work (MOMA)
Charles Eames, Ray Eames. Tilt-Back Side Chair. c. 1944. Evans Products Co., Molded Plywood Div., Venice, CA. Molded walnut plywood, lacquered steel bars and rods, rubber shockmounts, and rubber glides. 26 x 21 1/2 x 28 1/2″ (66 x 54.6 x 72.4). Gift of the manufacturer. 68.1946. Architecture and Design
Charles Eames, Ray Eames. Low Side Chair. 1946. Evans Products Co., Venice, California. Molded and bent birch plywood; rubber shockmounts. 25 3/4 x 22 1/4 x 25″ (65.4 x 56.5 x 63.5 cm). Gift of Eugene Eppinger. 643.1973. Architecture and Design
Charles Eames, Ray Eames, University of California Los Angeles Team. Prototype for Rocking Armchair. 1948 | MoMA
Charles Eames, Ray Eames, University of California Los Angeles Team. Prototype for Rocking Armchair. 1948. Neoprene-coated aluminum shell, metal rods, and wood runners. 28 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 27 5/8″ (72.4 x 69.9 x 70.2 cm). Purchase. 382.1950. Architecture and Design
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