The Eames Institute of Inﬁnite Curiosity announces its ninth exhibition, Toys & Play, an exploration of the toys and games that Ray and Charles Eames acquired and collected throughout their careers, and whose whimsy and fun weaved their way into the Eamese’s design process. The exhibition reveals the more unknown side of these diverse objects and explores how, for Ray and Charles, play wasn’t just about having fun, but offered a means of approaching life through a new lens.
“Toys are really not as innocent as they look. Toys and games are the preludes to serious ideas” – Charles Eames, 1961.
Toys & Play features a variety of ephemera from the Eames Collection including spinning tops, a circus mirror, tricycles, kites, and even a barrel organ. Unlike the bulk of mass-market commercial products, and even other contemporary designs by their peers, these toys offered examples of design that were free from self-expression, self-consciousness, and pretensions on the part of the maker. This sort of anonymity was, in the eyes of the Eameses, the paragon of “good design.”
Toys & Play launches on November 15th on The Eames Institute website while their ranch undergoes a multi-year renovation that will make it more accessible to everyone.