Collection by Erika Heet

Eames Time Machine


To stand in the empty living room of Charles and Ray Eames’ Case Study House No. 8 in Pacific Palisades is to experience pure contemplation of the space. While its furnishings, some undergoing their own conservation, languish within LACMA’s Living in a Modern Way exhibition, the room is receiving a faithful restoration under the tutelage of the Eames Foundation. To celebrate and to help support this transformation, on Saturday, October 15, from 4–6 p.m., the Foundation is hosting Time Machine, a fundraiser for Foundation members and non-members alike ($200 and $250, respectively). Time Machine kicks off “Indoor Ecologies: the Evolution of the Eames House Living Room,” which will progress through the end of April, at which time the living room will be back in its entirety. With the exception of attending events such as this one, as per usual, visitors will be only able to view the house from the outside, so this is a rare opportunity to be inside the room. “We are inviting people to see the living room empty, because that’s how it looked when Charles and Ray moved in,” says Foundation chairman Eames Demetrios, who adds that he and other family members, as well as former Eames collaborators, will be among the guests. “To be in that space, in this moment of all this potential, is pretty powerful.”

Ray Eames in the Eames House living room, Christmas 1949.
The living room in early 1950, with a circa 1944 three-legged molded-plywood side chair (the couple made one with two...
Another shot from 1950 shows more goza mats and pillows for seating guests.
The Eames house living room as it is best known, shot in 1994.
The living room in 1994 from the outside looking in, the angle from which most visitors view the space.
The Eames living room at present.
The room appears more diminutive without its furnishings.
This corner is typically occupied by the large bookcase that runs along the main wall.
“The markings are important to our consultants—they are ways of dividing up the space as we figure out exactly how to...
“Certain things are best to do when living room is out,” says Demetrios.
“Just as in Japan’s old teahouses, after 200 years of simply putting a cup in the same place, there’s very subtle wear...