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The designers Alexander Girard and Charles and Ray Eames were leading figures in American design during the post-war era. While the primary focus of Girard's work was on textile design, he was also admired for his career in the graphic arts as well as furniture, exhibition and interior design.

The expansive oeuvre of Charles and Ray Eames is not limited to product design, architecture, exhibition design and cinematography, but also encompasses a large number of graphic designs, most of which were created by Ray Eames. They were used in the Eames Office for business purposes and by the designer couple for personal celebrations – like the 'Happy Birthday' card created by Ray on the occasion of Charles's 48th birthday.

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VITRA

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Free

ALEXANDER GIRARD

Born in 1907 in New York City, Alexander Girard was one of the leading figures of postwar American design, along with his close friends and colleagues George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames.The primary focus of his wide-ranging oeuvre was textile design: as head of the textile division at the Herman Miller Company, Girard created numerous textile patterns and products reflecting his love of festive colours, patterns and textures. He favoured abstract and geometric forms in a variety of different colour constellations, typically featuring a cheerful palette.His upholstery fabrics remain as timely and vital as ever with many of them still being sold today. Having originally studied architecture, Girard made a name for himself over his long career in the fields of furniture, exhibition and interior design as well as in the graphic arts.

CHARLES AND RAY EAMES

harles Eames, born 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri, studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and opened his own office together with Charles M. Gray in 1930. In 1935 he founded another architectural firm with Robert T. Walsh. After receiving a fellowship in 1938 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, he moved to Michigan and joined the faculty the following year. In 1940, he and Eero Saarinen won first prize for their joint entry in the competition 'Organic Design in Home Furnishings' organised by the New York Museum of Modern Art. During the same year, Eames became head of the department of industrial design at Cranbrook, and in 1941 he married Ray Kaiser.

Ray Eames was born as Bernice Alexandra Kaiser in Sacramento, California, in 1912. She attended Bennett College in Millbrook, New York, and continued her studies in painting under Hans Hofmann through 1937. During this year she exhibited her work in the first exhibition of the American Abstract Artists group at the Riverside Museum in New York. She matriculated at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1940 and married Charles Eames the following year.

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