Eames: The Architect and the Painter

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Eames: The Architect and the Painter
Directed byJason Cohn
Bill Jersey
Written byJason Cohn
Produced byJason Cohn
Bill Jersey
Narrated byJames Franco
Quest Productions
Bread & Butter Films
American Masters Productions
Distributed byFirst Run Features
Release date
  • November 18, 2011 (2011-11-18)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States

Eames: The Architect and the Painter is a 2011 documentary film about American designers Charles and Ray Eames and the Eames Office. It was produced and written by Jason Cohn, and co-produced by Bill Jersey.

The film moves between a narrative about the husband and wife team to one about the Eames Office and its accomplishments, starting with chair design, but also moving through architecture, photography and film. Most of the period images are still photographs from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, but there are several film clips. Audio clips are interspersed with narration by James Franco.

The film uses extensive interviews to frame the story. Interviews include Richard Saul Wurman, the founder of TED, Irish architect Kevin Roche, designer Bob Blaich, and screenwriter Paul Schrader; Lucia Eames and Eames Demetrios, Charles Eames' daughter and grandson; former Eames office designers: Jeannine Oppewall, Gordon Ashby, Deborah Sussman, and John and Marilyn Neuhart; historians Pat Kirkham, Jed Perl, and Donald Albrecht; and IBM consultant Zeke Seligson.


The New York Times reviewer A. O. Scott called it "a lively new documentary" and "appropriately busy and abundant: full of objects, information, stories and people, organized with hectic elegance."[1] He praised it for showing, "in marvelous detail, how their work was an extension of themselves and how their distinct personalities melded into a unique and protean force."[1]

Tom Keogh of The Seattle Times wrote that "Much like the creations of its subjects, 'Eames' is itself a dazzling, sensory adventure" and that "the film is an extraordinary and enjoyable history of how two people influenced so much of our thinking and surroundings today."[2]

Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan described the film as "a thorough and vibrant examination of the master Modernists."[3]


The film won a Peabody Award in 2012.[4]

Home media[edit]

The film is available on DVD.[5]


  1. ^ a b A. O. Scott (November 17, 2011). "At the Altar of Design, When Self-Expression Met Mass Production". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Tom Keogh (November 27, 2011). "'Eames: The Architect and the Painter' dazzles". Seattle Times.
  3. ^ Kenneth Turan (November 18, 2011). "Movie review: 'Eames: The Architect and the Painter'". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ "American Masters: Eames—The Architect and the Painter".
  5. ^ "Eames: The Architect and the Painter (2011)". Amazon. 13 December 2011.

External links[edit]