American Decorative Arts
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Designer: Charles Eames, American, 1907–1978
Designer: Ray Eames, American, 1912–1988
Manufacturer: Molded Plywood Division, Evans Products Company, American, 1943–1949

Preproduction DCM (Dining Chair Metal)

1946

Plywood with rosewood veneer, zinc-coated metal, and rubber

28 1/2 × 20 × 21in. (72.39 × 50.8 × 53.34 cm)
Gift of Randall Garrett, B.A. 1972, M.A. 1975
2012.70.2
This prototype DCM (dining chair metal) is one of six that Charles Eames made in order to convince the Evans Products Company to manufacture the design. It was probably made shortly after the opening of the exhibition New Furniture Designed by Charles Eames at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in March 1946. The frame has concealed weld joints and is plated in zinc, as chromium was still scarce due to World War II rationing. The wooden seat and back are made of thin plywood faced in luxurious rosewood. The back and seat are attached to the frame with rubber shock mounts and exposed metal washers. All of these details changed when the chair finally went into production, making this an unusual survival and a vivid example of how a design transforms from the prototype stage to the factory floor.
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Furniture
Geography: 
Designed in Los Angeles, California
Manufactured in Los Angeles, California
Status: 
By appointment
Provenance: 

Ray and Charles Eames, Los Angeles, 1946–before 1951; by gift to Doris and Alexander Knox, Los Angeles, prior to 1951–1998; sold at Bonham's Knightsbridge, 11 November 1998, lot 11; by purchase to Daniel Ostroff, Los Angeles; by purchase to Randall Garrett, New Haven, before 2006–2012; by gift to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 2012

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pub_Bull_acquisitions_2012.pdf (accessed December 21, 2012).

Catherine Ince and Lotte Johnson, The World of Chales and Ray Eames (London: Barbican Art Gallery, 2015), 49.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.