Midcentury designers Ray and Charles Eames were famous for emerging on top of a dragging post-war economy by working with inexpensive materials and affordable manufacturers. But the foundation for the husband-and-wife designers, created by their daughter Lucia Eames in 2004 to honor their legacies, still needs to make up for low endowment in a downturn. This weekend, a silent auction will be held to raise money for the Eames Foundation, with 13 pretty unique items up for grabs. Although some of the items are slightly more exclusive than the Eameses likely intended–they adhered to the notion that good design should be accessible to all–some of these are truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for a rabid design fan. Have a designing dad? It is Fathers’ Day, after all!
Eames Studio Overnight: Spend a night in the pristine midcentury modern studio (not the famous house, but the similar adjacent studio). One night for two people starts at $5000, and the language makes it seem like this kind of offer for an Eames sleepover is about to become a regular deal. The only bummer: No interior photos allowed! Then, really, what’s the point if you can’t show pictures when you brag about it to your drooling design friends?
Eames House Bird: Okay, so if you can’t stay in the house, how about a very special bird spends the night for you? The Eameses collected a simple folk art black bird on one of their excursions and it has sat, forever since, watching over the interior of their home. A minimum bid of $200 allows a brand new replica of that bird to spend the night with its namesake, then alight permanently in your home, perhaps bringing the Eameses’ good design sense home with it.
Picnic in the Eames Meadow: Picnics were legendary for the Eameses, their love for exotic foods and detailed table settings exquisitely captured in their films and photos. If you can’t fork over the $5000 to spend the night, or even the $200 for a bird to spend the night for you, $500 will get you a picnic for six in the Eames meadow outside the house and studio. Lay back on a blanket in the eucalyptus grove and pretend you’re in the opening of the iconic Eames film Powers of Ten.
House of Cards Pack: These incredibly simple yet stunning cardboard cards were made as educational toys for kids, printed with brightly-colored photos on both sides and cut with deep slits for stacking. Starting at $600, the pack includes every deck produced as well as an extremely rare pack of vintage computer-themed cards.
Herd of Elephants: These molded plywood and plastic elephants designed in 1945 make great chairs for kids. For this auction item, you can put together your own herd consisting of various colors and materials, as well as the delightful A Gathering of Elephants film made by grandson Eames Demetrios. Bidding starts at $1300 for the whole herd, but you can bring a single plastic elephant home for about $300 since these pieces have been recently reissued by Vitra.