The Henry Ford Acquires 1964 New York World’s Fair IBM Kiosk Designed by Charles and Ray Eames

Kiosk originally designed for use in IBM Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

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Photograph Courtesy of Los Angeles Modern Auctions

It is a powerful and appealing artifact--and a reminder that Charles and Ray Eames could apply lightness of touch and whimsy to serious yet fun exhibit design.

(PRWEB) June 06, 2013

The Henry Ford confirmed today the acquisition of an original kiosk designed by Charles and Ray Eames for use in the IBM Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

The kiosk, one of two known to survive, was designed to resemble a colorful tent-like structure, complete with pennants. Constructed of iron, walnut and plastic laminate, it originally housed interactive exhibit elements that were part of a huge program created by the Eames office to explain the impact and uses of IBM’s computing technology. The kiosk was saved by the contractor who had been awarded the task of demolishing the pavilion at the fair’s end. Another example is known to have survived—used by the Eames Office to explore installation options but never used at the fair itself. It was acquired by Vitra in 2006.

“When acquiring artifacts for The Henry Ford collection, we look at how the item will expand our ability to tell important stories from American culture including that of design,” said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. Marc Greuther, chief curator, adds, “It is a powerful and appealing artifact—and a reminder that Charles and Ray Eames could apply lightness of touch and whimsy to serious yet fun exhibit design.”

In addition to being a highly significant Eames artifact, the kiosk relates to the broader topic of world’s fairs – a subject the organization continues to explore specifically in the current Henry Ford Museum visiting exhibition Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s. Its direct connection to IBM also enriches the museum’s communication and information technology collections.

The Henry Ford is currently working with Los Angeles Modern Art & Design Auction regarding bringing the kiosk to its new home inside Henry Ford Museum. Details on when the item will be put on permanent display will be released at a later time.

About The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan is an internationally-recognized cultural destination where stories and artifacts from 300 years of America’s history bring to life the accomplishments of ordinary and extraordinary individuals alike. A national historic landmark with five unique venues, unparalleled collections and world-class expertise, The Henry Ford is a force for fueling the spirit of American innovation and inspiring a ‘can-do’ culture. Nearly two million visitors annually experience its attractions: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. A continually expanding array of content available online provides anytime, anywhere access. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus. For more information please visit our website thehenryford.org.


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  • Melissa Foster
    The Henry Ford
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