Ray’s abstract cover designs for Arts & Architecture magazine signified the Los Angeles-based magazine’s commitment to avant-garde art, architecture, music, and film. Ray’s cover design is one of many of the Eames iconic designs of the 20th century. Their pioneering use of new materials and technologies, notably plywood and plastics, transformed the way Americans furnished their homes, introducing functional, affordable, and often highly sculptural objects and furnishings to many middle-class Americans.
Charles Eames (1907–78) and Ray Eames (1912–88) gave shape to America’s twentieth century. Their lives and work represented the nation’s defining movements: the West Coast’s coming-of-age, the economy’s shift from making goods to producing information, and the global expansion of American culture. The Eameses embraced the era’s visionary concept of modern design as an agent of social change, elevating it to a national agenda. Their evolution from furniture designers to cultural ambassadors demonstrated their boundless talents and the overlap of their interests with those of their country. In a rare era of shared objectives, the Eameses partnered with the federal government and the country’s top businesses to lead the charge to modernize postwar America.