Experimental Plywood Forms
USA, c. 1945
Charles and Ray Eames

Evans Products
Molded plywood
6 × 3 × 11½”

The vast influence of Charles and Ray Eames is immeasurable; Responding to the burgeoning attitudes and landscapes of mid-century America, they created an utterly unique and novel design world, born from their curiosity, industriousness, optimism and humanistic impulses.

In 1940, the Charles and Ray met at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where Charles was collaborating with Eero Saarinen on furniture designs and Ray was studying painting. The two married in 1941 and moved to Los Angeles soon after, establishing their highly influential design firm that, with the help of other talented designers they brought in, would re-shape modern design. Early explorations in plywood and mass-producing sturdy, livable and charming furniture brought them success and allowed them to extend their efforts into more diverse fields such as education, textiles, filmmaking, curating, architecture and industrial design.

The Eames Office operated for over four decades, exerting an enormous influence on modern and contemporary design through their limitless vision of the human spirit. Charles passed away in 1978 and Ray died ten years later to the day. Their contribution to the American ethos continues to inspire and influence contemporary design today.

Purchased from an Evans Products employee, the two developmental forms offered here were produced by the Eames Office in 1945. These objects were part of a program to produce sample plywood forms for exhibitions and to expose new manufacturing firms to the possibilities of plywood. The curved form is an early exploration of what would become their Folding Screen design only with a deeper contour. Originally mounted for display by the Eames office, one of the present forms was also included in an early museum design exhibition in 1946. —Wright

(Photo: Wright)