Artist Lucia Eames dedicated herself to family, legacy, and community, leaving her personal story largely untold. Nevertheless, throughout her life in California, she pursued and honed her own aesthetic to form a visual vocabulary of familiar motifs and abstract representations.
With optimistic themes of Joy, Hope, and Celebration, Lucia embraced the wonders of the universe and the beauty of nature in her art. She worked in many different media to create drawings, writings, photographs, and works woven with found objects. She is best known for her sculptural metal works rendered in cut steel and bronze and her powerful graphic designs embedded in printmaking and interior objects.
Her early years were spent with her father, Charles Eames, at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he taught and subsequently met her stepmother, Ray. Lucia’s talents were recognized at an early age when, at age 12, her wooden sculpture was published in the legendary Arts & Architecture magazine. In 1952, she graduated from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, having enjoyed Walter Gropius as one of her professors.
Lucia spent much of her adult life raising five children on a tranquil side street of San Francisco. Humorously, when the family moved, it was to a place a mere block away. Both homes had treasured gardens, with the second overlooking a large national park with the Golden Gate Bridge on the horizon. It was in these two wooden homes that Lucia forged her style, her artistic approach and her commitment to an all-embracing creative spirit.
Prior to her death in 1988, Ray entrusted Lucia with the Eames legacy by leaving her the Eames Office and the Eames House in Pacific Palisades. Lucia ensured the preservation of the House for future generations by establishing the Eames Foundation for its care. While building on her parents’ legacy and passing on their innovative teachings to new generations, Lucia quietly continued to create her own works.
In later life, she lived and worked in Sonoma County, California, transforming her living and workspaces into treasure troves of extraordinary visual richness and expanded ranges of her work. She did the same with steno pads, filling them with writings and drawings that brought her environment to life. Her exhaustive archive, stored for decades in her home and recently unearthed, reveals the true artistic breadth of Lucia Eames.
The work of Lucia Eames is in public and private collections and can be seen in the living room of the Eames House.
AT ALL THE
PILES UP AND
THERE IS NO
Lucia Eames, 2002