02 October 2010

Eames in Saint Louis on display

Charles Eames studied architecture at Washington University in Saint Louis back in the 1920s, but was asked to leave due to his overly enthusiastic interest in modernism (i.e., Frank Lloyd Wright in those days). He had several architectural partnerships in the ensuing years, designed stage sets for the MUNY, painted murals, documented historic architecture for HABS (Historic American Building Survey) and designed several homes which still grace our city.

The most elaborate expression of his ideas on architecture, furniture, integrating art and design from this period was the monumental Meyer House in Huntleigh Village of 1936.

Facade, Meyer House, Huntleigh Village, Missouri (1936) by Eames & Walsh Architects. Photograph by Andrew Raimist.
The Meyer House includes custom-designed furnishings, decorative glass, murals and other site specific artworks. By the time the house was receiving its finishes, Eames had begun a fellowship at the Cranbrook Academy with the resulting beneficial influence on its completion.

Cast decorative metal ornament on entry door, Meyer Residence. Photograph by Andrew Raimist.
Another work from this era inspired by certain aspects of modern design was the design for the Dean House of 1935 in a Deco-inspired, Streamline Moderne work.

Facade, Dean House, Webster Groves, Missouri (1935). Photograph by Andrew Raimist.
This complex white-painted brick masonry home features a curious combination of details including corner windows at the second floor, brick quoins on the first floor and a stringcourse with dentils dividing the two levels. The entry door features a carved chevron pattern reminiscent of a door of the same time period by Eames' friend Harris Armstrong for the Cori Residence.

Entry door, Dean House. Photograph by Andrew Raimist.
A third home from this period was done for a collector of 18th century American furniture in a Williamsburg manner:

Facade detail, Dinsmoor House, Webster Groves, Missouri (1936). Photograph by Andrew Raimist.
My photographs of these three homes, including many more images with details, will be featured as part of the Award Benefit and Auction for the Museum of California Design being held on Sunday 3 October 2010 at the Entenza House (Case Study House #9 designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen).

Entenza House (Case Study House #9), Pacific Palisades, California (1949) designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen. Photography courtesy of www.casestudynine.com.
If you're in the neighborhood and would like to see this historic mid-century modern home, click the link to purchase a ticket. I wish I could be there myself as the house has never been open to the public !

Anyone interested in purchasing a print of my photographs should feel free to contact me.


  1. He did St. Mary's Catholic Church in Helena, Arkansas around this time too. My parents were married there in 1949.
    Nice work

  2. Thanks, Andrew. I'm so excited to share the slide show of your great photos with the guests.

    Thanks for mentioning the event.

    Your grateful pal,

    Daniel Ostroff

  3. Richard, yes you're right. I've read about the Helena church, but haven't had the opportunity to visit it in person. I'm hoping to be able to do so in the near future.

    I'm glad you like the photographs.

  4. Daniel, you're most welcome. I'm so glad you contacted me about the photographs. I've been wanting to "do something" with the images and research I've done over the years on Eames' work in this area. Your request was a perfect reason for looking back into my files.