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Eames to the Nth Degree

Charles + Ray Eames overload!!!  Is there such a thing?  Possibly, yes.  For those of you who’ve aren’t familiar with them, Charles + Ray Eames were an American husband + wife design team that were HUGE contributors to architecture, furniture design, photography, film, etc.  Most of what the general public would think of as “mid-century modern design” was probably influenced by Charles + Ray Eames.  Don’t they look fun?






Some iconic Eames furniture pieces – this only scratches the surface of what the Eames contributed to the world of design.




Yesterday was POURING rain!!!!  Everyone said that Jeff brought the rain to Los Angeles.  Jeff called it “a light mist”.  Macho.  People were decked out in all their rain gear – you would have thought it was a tornado warning.  Angelenos freak out when it rains + it’s like the whole city shuts down.  We went to the A + D (architecture + design) museum on Wilshire.  The show was: Eames Designs: The Guest-Host Relationship.  “The role of the designer,” said Charles Eames, “is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests.” 



Rainy, rainy streets.




Another Eames philosophy was to find, “the uncommon beauty of common things.”  Not a very good philosophy to promote to a hoarder.  Easy, Jeff.  Don’t get any ideas.






After A + D, we traveled across the street to the Petersen Automotive Museum.  I think 92% of Angelenos have never been to this museum.  It is fascinating + I highly recommend it, y’all!!!  Usually it is the kiss of death going to the Petersen with Jeff because he’ll take 30 detailed pictures of one car.  There’s THREE STORIES of cars. Lots of them.  Luckily, he forgot his camera. 




History buffs, pay heed.  If you’re not much of a car aficionado, the Petersen Museum is still a good visit for insight into the evolution of car culture + the development of the city of Los Angeles.  Incroyable!!


This guy is at the model T display as an example of how the cars would always get stuck in the mud.  But, really Petersen museum?!  He always gets a chuckle + witty remarks from the viewers cuz it’s like, “What the heck is really going on here????”.  Jeff made me put this in the post.  Guffaw, guffaw.






The rotating exhibit is, “Scooters – Size Doesn’t Always Matter”.  Snicker, snicker.  So, if you are a mod + have Quadrophenia on rotation on your plasma, go check it out.  It shows the complete evolution of the scooter from the turn of the century to the luxury Vespas of today.



Today, the weather was absolument gorgeous!!!!  To die for Los Angeles weather!!!  Thus, Santa Monica, tally ho.  First stop?  The Eames House.  Visit by appointment only, park on Corona Del Mar + no pictures of the inside of the home. Only the exterior.  Nestled in a eucalyptus grove that smelled so fragrant after the rain!!!! 








The contents of the living room have been moved to Los Angeles County Museum of Art which is a bit of a bummer because it would have been nice to see the living room intact, considering all of it’s contents have never left the house since 1949, when the house was completed.  Everyone!!!  Right now in southern California, Pacific Standard Time is happening – a six month celebration of art in L.A. from 1945-1980, with over 60 cultural institutions from Malibu to Palm Springs + down to San Diego exhibiting + showcasing southern California as a influential center for arts + culture.

Charles + Ray’s grandson was on the premises being interviewed by what we assumed was a Japanese reporter.  He shot a film about the dismantling of the studio on Abbot Kinney in Venice that Jeff loved.  We bought a copy + Jeff was able to flag him down for a chat + an autograph.  Jeff was thrilled.  Eames Demetrios was thrilled as well when Jeff told him about meeting me on “Inception” because there is a character by the name Eames + Leonardo DiCaprio’s character spins a toy top, which is a huge symbol in the Eames philosophy.  Hmmm.  Coincidence???  Me thinks not…..







Afterwards was a hop, skip + a jump to one of my best friends from high school, Adrianna’s house.  She is preggos with her first wee bairn, + I haven’t seen her tummy grow since I’ve been gone!!!  Here she is with her tummy + her beloved greyhound rescue, Enid!!!!  How I’ve missed them!!!!  Hi Adi!!!







Jeff is convinced that he + Adi are related.  Crazy???  Yes.  Unfounded?  No.  Adi’s maiden name is Day.  Jeff’s paternal side come from a well documented line of Days from Cork, Ireland.  Here they are looking at Adi’s genealogy binder.  Because everyone should have theirs handy!!!!  Look alive, people!!!  Get with the program!!!  Slackers!!!



For lunch, we walked up the street to Ocean Avenue for a packed picnic because we are thrifty like that.





A perfect Southern California day – beat that, Vancouver!!!!













The Eames Office on Pico was our next stop.  It was bigger than I expected.  They had the 1961 “Mathematica” exhibit commissioned by IBM showcased. 
















It was amazing!!!  There were historical timelines, quotations from famous mathematicians, physics displays, photography + film from the original exhibition.



Oh + let’s not forget – a really amazing gift store.  My favorite part.






Okay, LAST STOP.  The Santa Monica Museum of Art.  Located in Bergamot Station – a collection of galleries located in an industrial location that’s been around for years.  I remember going there in high school feeling artsy.  The exhibit was on Beatrice Wood.  An eccentric bohemian who was known as the Mama of Dada (Dadaism).  I LOVED learning about her!!!  She had a pottery studio in Ojai, east of Santa Barbara.  She only wore Indian saris + was frequently seen with Roche + Duchamp during the early 1900’s, consequently it is assumed that she was the inspiration for the Truffaut film, “Jules + Jim”.  One of the few French New Wave that I actually love.
















After the excitement of Beatrice Wood, we drifted off to the many galleries that Bergamot Station has to offer.  It’s one of those places where, if you’re a local, you take Bergamot Station for granted.  But if you’re visiting – please go!!!!







Julius Shulman – world renowned architectural photographer.  Neutra, Lautner, Frank Lloyd Wright, Koenig + various other Case Study houses.  Jeff was beside himself for real. All I was thinking about, was that Los Angeles traffic that was approaching.  And believe me, it was.  We braved traffic during rush hour + were better men/women because of it.  Today was a plethora of information , art + culture that I haven’t experienced in a very long time.  This need, should not go on so long ignored.