In the late 1940s, Herman Miller began its long-standing collaboration with a dynamic husband-and-wife team who had just broken ground with the introduction of their now-legendary molded plywood chair. The husband, Charles, was a charismatic problem solver, a trained architect with an eye for experimentation and play. Ray, the wife, was every bit his equal—an accomplished painter with a commanding grasp of color and detail.
While it is the many projects created with Charles that gained recognition and even iconic status for Ray, it is the time spent before meeting her spouse that laid the foundation for her indispensable contributions to the Eames Office. A 1933 graduate of Bennett Women's College in Millbrook, New York, Ray Kaiser soon moved to New York
City to study under the noted abstract expressionist painter Hans Hofmann. She helped found the American Abstract Artists group in 1936. And in 1940, she studied at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where she met Charles Eames, and began the partnership that would ultimately define her life’s work.
Known for her keen attention to detail, wide-ranging interests (dance, sculpture, textiles, film, collage, toys), and her individuality, Ray Eames offered a sense of color, structure, and wonder in all she produced. In this year—Ray’s centennial—we celebrate an innovator and collaborator whose works inspire as much as the way she lived her life: joyfully immersed in a continual creative process.