Charles and Ray Eames are among the most important American designers of the 20th century. The Eameses are best known for their groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, industrial design and manufacturing, and the photographic arts.
Charles Eames was born in 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended school there and developed an interest in engineering and architecture. After attending Washington University in St. Louis on scholarship for two years and being thrown out for his advocacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, he began working in an architectural office. In 1930, Charles started his own architectural office. He began extending his design ideas beyond architecture and received a fellowship to Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where he eventually became head of the design department.
Ray Kaiser Eames was born in 1912 in Sacramento, California. She studied painting in New York before moving on to Cranbrook Academy where she met and assisted Charles in preparing designs for the Museum of Modern Art’s Organic Furniture Competition. Charles and his partner’s designs, created by molding plywood into complex curves, won them the two first prizes.