Why Charles Eames Had Mixed Feelings For His Most Famous Chair

The most famous item designed by Charles Eames is a molded plywood, leather upholstered lounge chair and matching ottoman that are timelessly iconic, have spawned thousands of rip-off versions, invariably feature in any anthology of classic Twentieth Century design and are now part of a permanent exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Yet Eames himself never intended it to go into production in the first place and didn’t even view it as his best product. In an interview in Time magazine he reveals that it was originally designed as a gift for a friend. ‘I made it as a present for Billy Wilder,’ he said. ‘Billy had made a picture in East Germany and found a Marcel Breuer chair and brought it back to me and this was a return present.’

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