“To excel in the structuring of a problem, we must be committed to a concern for quality in everything in the world around us. We must learn to care deeply.”
– Charles Eames from slide show Excellence, G.E.M. 1967
After Charles died in 1978, Ray explored various methods of preserving the Eames House, including the possibility of gifting the House to different institutions. None would guarantee that they would not de-access the house after ten years.
Ray ultimately chose to give the house to Lucia Eames, her step-daughter, in order that she could continue to develop a plan for the preservation of the Eames House.
Lucia decided that the best way to protect the House was to gift it to a Foundation she created in 2004: the Charles and Ray Eames House Preservation Foundation, Inc., more readily known as the Eames Foundation. Lucia discussed the importance of providing a direct experience for visitors, in which they deepen their understanding and make their own connections to the Eameses’ work and life. According to Lucia:
“We have to make the work of Charles and Ray relevant to the future. The house will always give a feel for their approach. It’s very tangible, almost primary source material… Charles and Ray had this blend of vision and pragmatism. I think the Foundation represents the pragmatic part—it’s the physical object, the place where they created their visions. But they can’t be separated. So if it’s just this highfalutin philosophical exercise… well, the world doesn’t need another foundation like that. But the world perhaps could use another foundation that values both sides of the equation.”
– From an interview with Paul Makovsky, in Metropolis January 2005 issue.
Our goal is for the Eames House to look as though the Eameses just stepped out. Not in a fetishizing sort of way, but because it best captures their intent, which is intimately linked to how they used the structure.
We invite you to join us in advancing the history, process, and enjoyment of the Eames legacy.
The Charles and Ray Eames House Preservation Foundation, Inc. was established in 2004 in order to preserve and protect the Eames House and to provide educational experiences that celebrate the creative legacy of Charles and Ray Eames. It is a not-for-profit organization officially recognized by the IRS as an organization described within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Code.