Seeing With The Heart

The Eames Family presented Lucia Eames: Seeing with the Heart during Milan Design Week

MILAN – June 6, 2022 – Seeing with the Heart was the first in-depth display of work created by the artist Lucia Eames (1930-2014). Seeing with the Heart offered a unique look into the life of a creator who embedded symbolic, visual emblems into her art across a variety of mixed media, including drawings, cut-outs, and photographs, writings, and large-scale commissions that incorporate found objects. 

Created by Form Portfolios, the exhibition focused on the magical world of Lucia’s visual poetry and brought abundance to four rooms of a historic apartment in the heart of Brera. The exhibition was on view from Tuesday, June 7th through Friday, June 10th during Milan Design Week.

“My siblings and I, as well as our Lucia Eames archiving team, are thrilled to bring to life the work of our mother here in Milan. During our process of archiving, we have delighted in her hope and humor, and now are excited to share her gifts of spirit, joy and optimism with a wider audience to reach new generations of design lovers.” Carla Atwood Hartman, Curator, Lucia Eames Archive.

The exhibition’s title, Seeing with the Heart, refers to both her transcendent connection to the natural world and her unique upbringing in the world of her parents, Charles and Ray Eames. ​ While she treasured her time with them, her creative path was uniquely her own. Throughout her life, Lucia Eames transformed her living and work spaces into treasure troves of extraordinary visual density. ​ She drew deep inspiration from the natural world and delighted in celebrating the patterns and forms she found there. Her sketch pads are treasures in themselves, filled with writings and drawings that often reappeared in works that joyfully brought her environment to life. Her rich body of work, stored for decades and carefully archived after her death, at last reveals the true artistic breadth of Lucia Eames. 

Upon entering the first gallery of the exhibition, visitors were greeted by a room filled with colorful, hand-cut butterflies—a reference to a favorite memory of Lucia’s: the migration of monarch butterflies, which at a particular season, fluttered and danced in the meadow of her parents’ landmark home in Pacific Palisades. ​ Lucia cut each butterfly to be “distinctly individual, like its genetics or a fingerprint, with endless iterations and subtle differences on the landscape of the paper.” ​ She often played with scale and this is emphasized by the 100s of fluttering paper butterflies—a lovely movement against the grid of butterflies.

The second gallery celebrated Lucia’s metalwork—physical tables, stools, and bench from her own collection – and a digital art presentation featured her process drawings related to her metal gates and furniture. A further nod to her exploration of scale was a hanging huge, large-scale butterfly juxtaposed with another swooping bird. Enhancing the room were plants, trees and vines celebrating Lucia’s love of nature.

The third gallery provided a more personal account of Lucia’s life with a floor-to-ceiling wall of 200 images representing her artwork, photographs, writings, graphic designs, and portraits. Balanced with this were three pedestals showcasing a few of over 7,000 steno pad pages filled with drawings and writings.

Final gallery with Stardance gate and a few panels that reveal more insights into Lucia. Photography: Maxime Galati-Fourcade.

​The final gallery spotlit her iconic Stardance gate, literally casting shadows. Visitors also found banners designed in the 1960’s which she hung at her studio and from a tree in the backyard of her home. A final feature was Glimpses of Lucia Eames, by her son, Eames Demetrios, a visual video overview of selected work and portraits—still and motion. On the way out, the visitor was treated with a take-away of a woman who saw with her heart.
​This exhibition was just the first collaboration between the Lucia Eames Archive and Form Portfolios and is aimed at bringing the work of this extraordinary artist to communities around the world. 

“We are honored to bring forth the undiscovered legacy of Lucia Eames, an artist with a remarkable oeuvre that is rare and unique,” expresses Mark Masiello, Founder of Form Portfolios. ​ ​





Lucia Eames, 2002