ARTS & CULTURE

Ray And Charles Eames Documentary Captures Marriage Of Industry And Art (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

12/07/2011 09:17 pm ET | Updated Dec 08, 2011

She was a painter who rarely painted. He was an architecture school dropout. Together they would define the aesthetic and lifestyle of American modernism. PBS will air a documentary capturing the couple's immense impact on the latter half of the 20th century called 'Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter.'

The Eames radically altered the way people looked at and lived in the world through combining art and life, beauty and function; they could raise value without raising cost. This was visible in the chair which shaped their design careers, consumer-friendly works of art constructed from materials like molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent metal wire and aluminum. Yet their ethos was truly embodied in the Eames' office itself, described like Disneyland or the land of Oz and all the while remarkably productive. Imagination and ingenuity, whether creative or intellectual, were never at odds.

The happy marriage of aesthetic and use went on to mold the computer age, paving the way for sleek and simple brands like Apple. Watch these two American masters fall in love, only to have the country fall in love back. Their influence is not limited to the cultural realm; their vision the shaped modern American lifestyle.

Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey's documentary will explore both the creative endeavors and the sometimes tortured relationship of the husband-and-wife for the first time, as well as the links between the two. It will be narrated by James Franco.

'American Masters Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter' Premieres nationally Monday, December 19, 2011 from 10-11:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on PBS (check local listings).

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