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Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

The Artistic Approach of Ray Eames

December 17, 2012 Archive Insight

The following post was originally posted on Herman Miller's Discover blog on Dec. 13, 2012. We're pleased to share this story here on The Henry Ford's blog. Many thanks to our friends at Herman Miller for their permission to post this for our readers to enjoy. - Lish Dorset

By Mindy Koschmann

In a 1980 interview with Ruth Bowman for the Archives of American Art, Ray responded to a question about her chosen vocation:

“I never thought of myself as an artist and couldn’t bear the word.”

She objected to the generality of the label, but her comments about her interdisciplinary approach to art and design provide an intriguing contrast:

"It was natural for me not to separate them, you know—now you study history, now you study dance, now you study music, or now you study pottery or whatever it is— it all seemed to be one thing."

Of Ray’s many artistic pursuits—painting, film, textiles, fashion, and furniture design—perhaps the most personal was her proclivity for making interesting arrangements with found objects. Of her curious habit, she said:

“Almost everything that was ever collected was an example of some facet of design and form. We never collected anything as just collectors, but because something was inherent in the piece that made it seem like a good idea to be looking at it. “

It’s always a good idea to revisit the work of Charles and Ray Eames, especially in light of the 100th anniversary of Ray’s birth on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. We celebrate Ray’s life and work as a painter, collector, and designer.

design, art, women's history, by Mindy Koschmann, Eames

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