"DCW" Side Chair

Artist: Charles Eames (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1907–1978 St. Louis, Missouri)

Date: 1946

Medium: Birch plywood, ponyskin, rubber mounts

Dimensions: 28 3/4 x 21 3/8 x 19 1/2 in. (73 x 54.3 x 49.5 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. I. Wistar Morris, III, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.556


The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames, who collaborated in the design of hundreds of chairs, tables, and other pieces of furniture that combined mass production with a high sense of style and comfort, were among the most innovative American designers of the mid-twentieth century. Their most significant innovation was bending lengths of plywood in two planes. In contrast to Alvar Aalto's bending a flat sheet of plywood into one or more curves, the Eames were able to mold a single sheet of plywood in different directions, on different planes, at the same time. Other innovations include rubber shock mounts that give a chair its resiliency and newly developed glues that were used to attach the mounts to the back and seat so that the joints were not visible on the front surface.