The World of Charles and Ray Eames, which presents some 400 artifacts, is the first major survey of the Eameses since the 1990s.
DEARBORN, Mich. — If you are feeling a bit disheartened by the current state of affairs here in the United States, perhaps you will find some consolation from this quote, attributed to Charles Eames, one half of the seminal Eames design duo, alongside his wife, Ray: “Beyond the age of information, there is the age of choices.
This bit of heartening wisdom is important to bear in mind in wandering The World of Charles and Ray Eames, a career-survey exhibition that presents a mélange of materials that guided not only the duo’s creative process, but their home life as well. The exhibition, which originated at the Barbican Art Gallery in October 2015 under the curatorship of Catherine Ince, toured Europe before making its US debut at the Henry Ford, and is the first major survey of the Eameses since the 1990s. The show presents some 400 artifacts across multiple media — architecture, furniture, graphic and product design, painting, drawing, film, sculpture, photography, and more — and, as with the the Library of Congress retrospective in the 1990s, the Henry Ford was involved in the consulting process.
Certainly, The World of Charles and Ray Eames offers information at critical mass — it is unthinkable to absorb its contents in a single visit, but for devotees or novices on the subject, it will be an embarrassment of riches to explore. In a sense, it is incumbent upon each of us who live in a world that inundates us with constant information to curate our own experience — to, in the words of the Eameses, follow the age of information with an “age of choices.”