A Note from Eames Demetrios

Director, Eames Office and Chairman of the Board, Eames Foundation

Anyone who had the pleasure of participating in 2011's Pacific Standard Time, the Getty-activated celebration of post-war Art and Design in Los Angeles, knows that one of the treasures presented was the celebration of Eames furniture designs at Joel Chen’s gallery (curated by Daniel Ostroff). Spectacle is sort of a looked down upon quality these days—we dismiss people who make spectacles of themselves, after all. But Charles and Ray Eames understood that spectacle at its best offered a direct experience of something—which is an important form of learning. Joel Chen understood that too and the power of seeing so many exquisite Eames examples in one place was incredible—and deeply informative about the Eameses' endless pursuit of quality and value for the customer.

So much so that we asked, and Joel generously agreed, that the pieces be rigorously documented and those images be given to the office, in part, so we could make our online teaching collection extremely robust. Interestingly, it means that those specifics items—now being auctioned by Wright—are often literal points of reference, almost akin to holotypes, that students of today and tomorrow study online. The chair that Charles and Ray designed is the chair that Herman Miller and Vitra make tomorrow—they were trying to design a system that would give people the same guest/host experience again and again. In this collection you see rare vintage pieces, but you also see the process of Charles and Ray perfecting and perfecting their vision.

I have to conclude my remarks by thanking Wright for making a donation to the Eames Foundation, which takes care of the Eames House. This is extremely generous and extremely rare for an auction house to give back in this way—helping to ensure the survival of a structure deeply important to our family, but the Eames community as a whole.