The Los Angeles-based husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames gave shape to the look of America's twentieth century. They witnessed firsthand many of the momentous historical events of the 1900s - including the Depression and World War II - and in their lives and work they represented the era's defining social movements: the shift of the nation's attention from the East Coast to the West Coast, the rise of corporate and industrial America, the global expansion of American culture. The Eameses' wholehearted belief that design could improve people's lives remains their greatest accomplishment, with elegance, wit, and beauty. Published on the occasion of a major exhibition organized by the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, the holders of the two richest Eames collections in the world, this volume celebrates that achievement. Includes essay by architect and curator Donald Albrecht, which explores the Eameses' achievements in collaboration with major corporate clients. Architectural designer and critic Joseph Giovannini offers a provocative interpretation of their early careers.A photo essay features newly commissioned photographs of furniture, furniture prototypes, and experimental pieces. Astronomer Alan Lightman, physicist Philip Morrison, and author Phylis Morrison examine the Eameses' fascination with science, especially their ability to communicate its history and principles to the general public through exhibitions, books, and films. Architectural historian Beatriz Colomina situates the Eameses' own house within the context of the American and European architectural avant-garde after World War II. And architectural historian Helene Lipstadt looks at four projects the Eameses designed for the American government, placing their work in international as well as broad political contexts. Together, the essays in this handsome and generously illustrated volume present the Eameses' wide-ranging sensibilities and their immense contributions to the visual language of the twentieth century.