American Abstract Art and the Interior Design of Ray and Charles Eames

Lucinda Kaukas Havenhand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


During the postwar period, the husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames emerged as leaders in the development of modern design in America. Although the Eameses are now primarily remembered for their innovations in product design and visual communications, their contribution to interior design was also significant, particularly In the design of their own home, built in 1949. For architectural historians, the design of the Eames House, which combines an orthodox modernist structure with what has been labeled as “Victorian clutter” and an excess of objects in its interior design, has been difficult to reconcile. This character of the interior has been generally characterized as reflective of a feminized, decorative, non-modern impulse that is usually ascribed to Ray Eames. This analysis puts forward the argument that Ray Eames's training and practice as an artist played an important, if not essential, role in all the work done by the Eames Office, but particularly In the design of the Eames House. It posits that viewing the design of the Eames House through the lens of art provides a more integrated explanation of its interior and exterior and demonstrates that the house, in its entirety, is an interdisciplinary effort that integrates ideas about modernism from both art and design into an “everyday” environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-42
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Interior Design
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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