Rosewood and Black Glove Leather

A Vitra Anecdote

Historical photographs of the Eames House, which is located in Pacific Palisades, California, provide a wonderful impression of how Charles and Ray Eames lived their life – surrounded by a collage of international folk art, modern furniture design, abstract paintings, toys, patterned textiles and rugs. Their home encapsulated the mid-century modern movement, combining pleasure, colour, personality and charisma with a great sense of humour, playfulness and experimentation.
"Who would say that pleasure is not useful?"
Charles Eames
Their home was more than just a home; it was a kind of laboratory, where prototypes from the Eames Office were brought in and out for temporary testing. Many of their designs stayed with them forever, one of which was their treasured Lounge Chair and Ottoman made of rosewood and upholstered with black glove leather.

According to their grandson, Eames Demetrios, rosewood was their favourite type of wood, and they wanted the Lounge Chair and Ottoman to have the ‘warm receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt’.
At the Eames House, the Lounge Chair was hardly ever moved out of their living room and usually pictured in the same spot, with or without Charles and Ray Eames.

The Eameses kept their beloved Lounge Chair for more than 30 years. Today, almost 60 years after its first appearance in their home, it is still on display in the Eames House.
More information on the topic of Eames furniture is found in the "Eames Furniture Sourcebook" and “Essential Eames”, two new publications by the Vitra Design Museum, available in German and English editions from booksellers or directly from the VDM publishing house.

Publication Date: 12.1.2016
Author: Stine Liv Buur
Images: Monique Jacot: Charles and Ray Eames in the Eames House with the Lounge Chair in their favourite material, rosewood and black glove leather, 1959. © Vitra Collections AG.

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