"Whimsical Works: The Playful Designs of Charles and Ray Eames" Opens July 22 at Penn's Arthur Ross Gallery

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Media Contact:Sara Stewart | | 215-898-3617July 8, 2005

PHILADELPHIA -- "Whimsical Works: The Playful Designs of Charles and Ray Eames" will be on display July 22-Sept. 11 at the Arthur Ross Gallery on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

The exhibition will feature toys, children's furniture and whimsical films by Charles and Ray Eames.  All are lesser-known aspects of the work of this famous husband-and-wife design team, who introduced molded-plywood and plastic furniture to America in the mid-20th century.

"Toys are not really as innocent as they look," Charles Eames once said.  "Toys and games are the preludes to serious ideas."  

"Whimsical Works" will focus on the designers' two of their structural building toys, The Toy and the House of Cards; their plywood children's furniture; and three short films, "Tops," "Toccata for Toy Trains" and "Kaleidoscope Jazz Chair."

Augmenting the presentation will be a selection of Charles Eamesoriginal drawings and several vintage tops from "Tops," as well as authentic model trains from "Toccata for Toy Trains."  In addition, there will be photographs taken by Charles Eames, which will chronicle the history and creation of these objects.

The Arthur Ross Gallery, at 220 S. 34th St., Philadelphia, is open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m.  

Scheduled tours for adults will take place every Wednesday and Thursday at 2 p.m.  Special tours can be arranged by telephone inquiry to the Arthur Ross Gallery. Family Programs, including children's tours and activities, will take place at 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 13 and Saturday, August 27.  All tours and programs are free of charge.

"Whimsical Works: The Playful Designs of Charles and Ray Eames" is organized by students in the Halpern-Rogath Curatorial Seminar.  The seminar is supported by Penn's Department of the History of Art as part of the Master of Liberal Arts Program of the College of General Studies.