Photo Essay – Eames House, 1950.

by Amy Collier

An extensive photo collection of iconic designers Charles and Ray Eames in their new California home can be found in the LIFE image archives hosted by Google. The photographs above and below were all shot by veteran LIFE magazine photographer Peter Stackpole for a short print feature entitled A Designer’s Home of His Own: Charles Eames builds a home of steel and glass published September 11, 1950:

Charles Eames, whose stark, comfortable chairs in the last five years have made him the best-known U.S. designer of modern furniture and a winner in the Museum of Modern Art furniture competition, recently designed a house and adjoining studio for himself near Santa Monica, Calif. As might be expected of a man whose chief concerns are simplicity, functionalism and economy, Eames’ own house is simply built of steel trusses, bright stucco panels and great curtained expanses of glass. It is extraordinarily functional, built for a couple that likes to live without servants or cocktail parties and work surrounded by the varied objects that interest them. And when work or contemplation pall, the Eameses have the ocean just across the meadow from their home.

[ Images via LIFE photo archives / ©LIFE ]

Charles Eames shows an earnest, reticent, eternally bow-tied man of 43.

Exterior view of Charles Eames house, showing how it nudges into a hillside.

Designer Charles Eames sitting on a beach near his home.

Chairs designed by Charles Eames made of molded plastic and plywood.

Charles Eames spinning a new toy of colored cardboard sections which are easily joined by a child to form odd shapes.

Natural designs embodies in Mojave desert plants fascinate Eames, who likes to mount them on the wall of his studio. From them, he says, he gets ideas for his own designs. The studio’s equipment includes a 22-foot tack board for such specimens and experimental designs and a photographic darkroom.

Spiral staircase in Charles Eames’s home is made of steel I-beam section, pipe, and plywood, wooden hand hanging from step is a Brazilian good-luck symbol. Girl climbing staircase is photographer’s daughter Kathy.

[ Images via LIFE photo archives / ©LIFE ]

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