Love & War~ May 25

Charles & Ray Eames

(Learn more by clicking on hyperlinks)

Charles was a designer with an eye for form. Ray was an artist with an eye for color. They complemented each other on projects like coat hangers, films, their namesake chairs, and large architectural projects. Through four decades of creative work, they revolutionized design and created an indelible mark on American History. The duo was not without faults, but the pair proved to be inseparable and inspirational. They were the Eameses.

The Eames studio—part workshop, part circus— was a partnership of two free spirits: one, an architecture school dropout who never got his license; the other, a painter trained by Hans Hofmann who used objects or any other surface as her canvases. They shunned the term “artist” as pompous.

Charles and Ray Eames arrived in Los Angeles in 1941, a year after they met at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Charles was married to his first wife, Catherine at the time, but Ray began assisting him and Eero Saarinen in their designs for the Museum of Modern Art’s Organic Design in Home Furnishings Competition, and soon he divorced Catherine and married Ray.

There is always a karmic danger in marrying someone with whom you committed adultery. The women at the company almost uniformly describe him as charismatic. At one point (that we know of), Charles was looking to leave Ray, and was only stopped because the woman confesses, she couldn’t do that to Ray. (, Pasadena Art & Science Beat, https://ageofthegeek.org/2011/11/23/eames-the-architect-and-the-painter-or-why-feminism-matters/ )

Their partnership, which obliterated the distinctions between private and professional lives, inspired numerous contemporary working marriages…Charles and Ray, architect and artist, wanted to do everything — disciplinary boundaries meant nothing to them — and, by and large, succeeded.

The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention
AD Classics: Eames House / Charles and Ray Eames
The Love Letters of Charles & Ray Eames

Love & War~ May 20

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Maya Lin’s original competition submission for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Architectural drawings and a one-page written summary, 1980 or 1981.

 

In 1979, Congress grants a Vietnam War veterans’ committee the right to build a memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C., dedicated to American soldiers killed in the conflict in Vietnam. The committee puts the design out for competition convening a blue-ribbon panel of architects, sculptors, and landscape architects to evaluate more than 1,400 submissions. When the winner is announced, no one is more surprised than the student architect herself, Maya Lin, a 20-year-old Yale undergraduate. The panel is moved by the simplicity, honesty, and power of Lin’s design: a V-shaped, sunken wall of black stone, with the names of those killed in action engraved in chronological order. To search out a loved one, a mourner will walk along the monument and find the name among the 57,661 listed. Lin describes the Memorial thus: “I went to see the site. I had a general idea that I wanted to describe a journey…a journey that would make you experience death and where you’d have to be an observer, where you could never really fully be with the dead. It wasn’t going to be something that was going to say, ‘It’s all right, it’s all over,’ because it’s not.” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/flashpoints/visualarts/thewall_a.html

For her life’s work, Lin was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2009, and a film about the artist, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, won the 1994 Oscar for best documentary. Lin has served as a board member of the National Resources Defense Council and a member of the World Trade Center Site Memorial design jury. In 2016, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.  https://www.biography.com/people/maya-lin-37259

Spotlight: Maya Lin~ https://www.archdaily.com/774717/spotlight-maya-lin

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Artist Birthday Quiz for 1/31~

What artist is perhaps best known for the two bronze lions that mark the entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago Building?

In 2000, the AIA recognized one of which architect’s buildings as the fourth most significant structure of the twentieth century?

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/01/31/january-31/

Artist Birthday Quiz for 12/7~

Which 17th century Italian sculptor, architect, and city planner is credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture?

Which American modernist painter considered the Armory Show the “greatest single influence” he experienced in his work?

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/12/07/december-7/

Artist Birthday Quiz for 11/30~

What 16th-century northern Italian architect summarized his rules in a landmark publication which was widely translated and spread his influence throughout Europe and into the New World?

What painter’s shift from representation to abstraction occurred between 1938 and 1942 — a reason why he is credited with laying the groundwork for the Abstract Expressionist movement?

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/11/30/november-30/

Artist Birthday Quiz for 11/17~

What 16th century Florentine painter’s unemotional yet stylish technique for portraying his subjects went on to influence a century of European court portraiture?

What modern American artist collaborated with others in a range of disciplines and schools including mass-production, e.g. designing a table for Herman Miller still being sold today?

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/11/17/november17/

Artist Birthday Quiz for 11/9~

What Swiss-American photographer took the suggestion of Walker Evans to apply for the Guggenheim Fellowship that would result in his most famous book?

What renowned American architect may be best known today for the scandal surrounding his murder by the jealous husband of a former lover?

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/11/09/november-9/

Artist Birthday Quiz for 10/6~

This artist’s 1893 essay, Das Problem der Form (The Problem of Form), asserted that truth is revealed in form, with subject matter of relatively minor importance.

This Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, and writer was one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture.

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/10/06/october-6/

Artist Birthday Quiz for 8/20~

Perhaps the most famous father-son duo in the architectural world, these two designers left profound influences upon the cities where they did their work, were awarded AIA Gold Medals, and share the same day of birth.

Starting in 1957 this photographer’s husband-and-wife team traveled through Europe and North America taking photographs of industrial architecture and organizing them into series based on functional typologies.

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/08/20/august-20/

Artist Birthday Quiz for 8/4~

This artist blazed a spectacular but short-lived trail through Flanders during the second quarter of the 16th Century as a painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, designer, writer, publisher, traveler and entrepreneur.

This painter was one of the artists dubbed the Irascible 18 after she and 17 prominent Abstract Expressionists signed an open letter to the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accusing the museum of hostility to “advanced art”.

Answers here~ https://schristywolfe.com/2015/08/04/august-4/