American Masters

Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter

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From 1941 to 1978, this husband-and-wife team brought unique talents to their partnership. He was an architect by training, she was a painter and sculptor. Together they are considered America's most important and influential designers, whose work helped, literally, shape the second half of the 20th century and remains culturally vital and commercially popular today. Ray and Charles Eames are, perhaps, best remembered for their mid-century modern furniture, built from novel materials like molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent metal wire and aluminum -- offering consumers beautiful, functional, yet inexpensive products. Revered for their designs and fascinating as individuals, the Eames have risen to iconic status in American culture. But their influence on significant events and movements in American life -- from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age -- has been less widely understood.

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