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Eames: The Architect and the Painter

The Eames House in Pacific Palisades, California, as seen in EAMES: The Architect and the Painter. Photo: Courtesy of First Run Features
Ray and Charles Eames photographing an early model of the exhibition "Mathematica: A World of Numbers...and Beyond" in 1960, as seen in EAMES: The Architect and the Painter. Photo: © 2011 Eames Office, LLC.
Ray and Charles Eames selection slides for the "Mathematica" exhibition, as seen in EAMES: The Architect and the Painter. Photo: © 2011 Eames Office, LLC.

The Eames House in Pacific Palisades, California, as seen in EAMES: The Architect and the Painter. Photo: Courtesy of First Run Features

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Over the weekend I had a chance to sit down and watch Eames: The Architect and the Painter. It's definitely one of the best documentaries I've seen in recent memory (another is Foo Fighters: Back and Forth, if you like rock and roll).

The parents of modern design, Charles and Ray Eames, are fully-examined through archival footage, the Eames House, and interviews with those who knew the couple. The Eames lived creative lives, and their unbridled passion for design in all facets of life is inspiring.

I was well aware of the couple's work in furniture design, but I had little idea about the extent of their many other creative endeavors (Cold War propaganda films or an ad campaign for IBM, for example), or that they had an office full of junior designers whose work on projects often went without credit.

The documentary also provides insight into the personal lives of Charles and Ray, Ray's struggle for recognition in the male-dominated world of the 50s and 60s, and even Charles' infidelity.

You can watch the trailer below, and head over to PBS to stream the whole documentary or check your local listings for rebroadcast.

 

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