The World of Charles and Ray Eames is a fantastic exhibit that has been traveling the world for years. On May 5th, 2018, it opened to the public for its U.S. premier. Of course, we were there as soon as possible to see it in person. Until September 3rd, 2018, you can catch the designs, artifacts and history of Charles and Ray Eames at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan.
The exhibition begins with the Eames' experiments in molded plywood with prototypes of their splint design for the U.S. Army, an abstract sculptural form from a single sheet of plywood and a really unique 3 legged version of their DCM (Dining Chair Metal Legs).
The collection also includes some beautiful vintage examples including this trio of pieces made from ash veneered plywood: The LCW (Lounge Chair Wood), CTW (coffee table wood) and a folding screen.
There were also several smaller models, including this newer model (2015) of the Eames Pacific Palisades home, also known as Case Study House 8.
Also featured is a prototype playkit of modern home designed by the Eames which never went into production.
Below, admire the life-size recreation of the Eames room for the Exhibition For Modern Living curated by Alexander Girard in 1949 at the Detroit Institute of Art. It is only fitting that this travelling exhibit's first stop of Michigan is home to both the DIA and Cranbrook, where Charles studied design alongside contemporaries such as Florence Knoll and Eero Saarinen, among others.
The exhibition is extensive, taking up a significant portion of the museum and well worth a visit. You can take a seat and watch some of the short films created by Ray and Charles Eames, and you can even read through love letters the pair wrote back and forth over the years. (Of particular interest is the letter Charles wrote to Ray asking for her hand in marriage!)
There is also a fun craft table for the kids and the young at heart! You can color and cut out miniature paper versions of the Eames Elephant Stool - a fun break for all ages. We were there on opening day, and there were only adults around the craft table, so don't think this is an activity that's just for the kids.
If you're anywhere nearby, we definitely recommend that you visit the World of Charles and Ray Eames at The Henry Ford. The exhibit will be open until September 3rd, and admission is $23 for adults. Currently, there are also some adjacent exhibits that might appeal to design or mid-century lovers. Don't miss the incredible Dymaxion House, a circular aluminum home designed by Buckminster Fuller, the fantastic vintage car collection or the exhibit showcasing American furniture design over the last few centuries.