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Charles Eames. [left to right]Ray Eames and Charles Eames. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103825).

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Eames, Charles (17 June 1907–21 August 1978), architect, furniture designer, and filmmaker, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Charles Ormond Eames, a Pinkerton security officer, and Marie Celine Adele Pauline Lambert. In 1921 Eames’s discovery of photographic equipment belonging to his father, who had died that year, initiated his lifelong interest in photography. He began his formal architectural education at Washington University in St. Louis on a scholarship in 1925. Prior to his enrollment, Eames had worked as a laborer with the LaClede Steel Company and as a designer of electrical lighting fixtures with the Edwin F. Guth Fixture Company, and while attending the university he worked summers as a draftsman in a St. Louis architectural office, Trueblood and Graf. He left school in 1928, his sophomore year. Despite his lack of a formal degree in architecture, other jobs and contacts in St. Louis substantially contributed to his education and to the development of his interests and skills in all aspects of design....

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Ray Eames. [left to right]Ray Eames and Charles Eames. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103825).

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Eames, Ray (15 December 1912–21 August 1988), designer and filmmaker, was born Ray Kaiser in Sacramento, California, the daughter of Alexander Kaiser, an insurance salesman, and Edna Mary Burr. In 1933, after graduating from the May Bennett School in Millbrook, New York, she began studying painting with Hans Hoffmann in New York City. She was a founding member of American Abstract Artists, which first exhibited as a group in 1937 in New York City....

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Leyda, Jay (12 February 1910–15 February 1988), translator, writer, filmmaker, and photographer, was born in Detroit, Michigan. His parents’ names are not known. Leyda grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where he spent his youth experimenting with photography, acting, painting, and sculpture. After high school, Leyda worked on a punch press in Dayton and apprenticed in the studio of the photo-secessionist Jane Reece. He arrived in New York City in 1929 to work as a darkroom assistant for the photographer Ralph Steiner and made a living photographing portraits for small magazines such as ...

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Orkin, Ruth (03 September 1921–16 January 1985), photographer and filmmaker, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Sam Orkin, a toy-boat manufacturer, and Mary Ruby, a former silent-screen actress and cellist. She grew up, however, near Los Angeles, California, and attended Beverly Hills High School and then Eagle Rock High School, graduating in 1939. Orkin briefly attended Los Angeles City College, where she majored in photojournalism....

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Warhol, Andy (06 August 1928–22 February 1987), artist and filmmaker, was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Andrej Warhola, a construction worker, and Julia Zavacky. Warhol’s parents, both of Carpatho-Rusyn extraction, immigrated separately to the United States from the Medzilaborce region of what is now the Slovak Republic, his father in 1913, his mother in 1921. As a youngster, Warhol showed a proficiency in art and attended art appreciation classes at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University). Stricken at the age of nine with St. Vitus’s dance (chorea), he spent at least two months at home and amused himself by drawing. His fascination with movie stars began while he was still young, and by 1939 he was collecting their photographs; according to his brother Paul, he “used to get wax paper and get the comic strip and trace it and get the impression, the picture.”...