Ray Eames, the 20th century American designer, was once quoted as saying, “What works good is better than what looks good, because what works good lasts.” Of course, the myriad designs she created with her husband and partner, the artist and designer Charles Eames, are both functional and beautiful.
Charles believed that “design addresses itself to the need,” and together he and Ray strove to create functional objects that could be accessible to everyone. The couple designed furniture, buildings, toys, films, showrooms and exhibition spaces, all of which have stood the test of time; their iconic Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman are represented in MOMA’s permanent collection, and their redesigned House of Cards, a children’s building toy decorated with bright patterns and illustrations, is still available for purchase around the world (to cite just two examples of many).
Next month we are thrilled to publish An Eames Anthology, edited by Daniel Ostroff. In this handsome and scrupulously researched volume, the writings of the Eamses – handwritten notes, passages of oral history, letters, film scripts – are presented alongside images, illustrating the creative and personal history of these two artists and designers. The book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the motivations, inspirations, and outcomes of their professional and personal partnership over more than five decades.
We’d like to offer you the opportunity to win a copy of this beautiful new book. One of the pieces of writing included in the book is a marvelously whimsical and detailed letter in the form of a rebus that Charles Eames sent to his daughter, Lucia, and her family. We have spent a good deal of time in delighted, transfixed contemplation, trying to divine the exact text behind the images. We’d like your help! There’s no key, so we won’t offer the prize to the respondent with the “correct” answer. Please tell us what you think the letter says, and we’ll send a copy of An Eames Anthology, hot off the presses, to the third entrant.
Email your elucidation of the pictographs to email@example.com*.