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American Women: Resources from the Prints & Photographs Collections

The Work of Charles and Ray Eames

Office of Charles and Ray Eames, photographer. Charles and Ray Eames, designers, working with an aluminum group chair at their office. 1957. Work of Charles and Ray Eames. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

As consumers, women have sometimes had an indirect influence on the design of furniture and other utilitarian and decorative objects they put to daily use. The work of Ray Eames (1912-1988) shows the direct influence of a woman designer on such design projects. With her husband, Charles, Ray Eames had a major impact on American graphic, textile, furniture, architectural, and exhibit design.

The mammoth Eames collection, known as The Work of Charles and Ray Eames (308,000 color 35mm slides, 220,700 negatives and contact prints, 9,000 architectural drawings, and 100 posters; ca. 1940-78) is currently being organized and cataloged (for a discussion of the manuscript materials, see Artists, Architects, and Designers in the Manuscript Division section). The collection has already begun to yield much insight into the creative and business aspects of design work.

Searching the Collection

Catalog records for much of The Work of Charles and Ray Eames can be found in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. The collection does not have its own listing in the catalog, but materials can be retrieved by searching Work of Charles and Ray Eames in combination with names, subjects, and so forth. Digitized images accompany some records. In most cases, only thumbnail versions of images display outside Library of Congress buildings because of rights considerations. Many of the records are for groups of materials (LOTs), for which on-site researchers can submit call slips.

Sample Images