Lia Kane

The Eames House: How Mid-Century Modernism Has Permeated Los Angeles’s Cultural Landscape

Faculty Mentor: Kelema Lee Moses, Art & Art History Department

Major: Art & Art History

Funding: Robert W. Winter History of Art & Architecture Summer Research Fellowship


“The Eames House within Los Angeles’s Cultural Landscape” aims to explore the ways in which residential spaces can be transformed into cultural sites, and how architects are able to craft the aesthetic standard of an urban landscape. Considering these aims, I propose the following research question: “How have mid-century homes in Los Angeles, such as the Eames House, transformed from residential spaces into cultural institutions, and what role do they play in informing the continuing development of Los Angeles’s urban landscape?” I believe that this type of question can apply to many aspects of architectural study, and the broader field of art history itself. If we can begin to understand how the identity of an architectural space shifts over time, we can learn more about the urban and cultural identities of cities like Los Angeles. Moreover, my intention with this research is to contribute to the much broader academic discussion surrounding architectural design and its place within mid-century modernism. In order to answer my research question, my report will include a survey of mid-century modernism and a visual analysis of the Eames House (1949). Following my visual analysis, I plan to discuss how the Eames House has become one of Los Angeles’s famed cultural sites. Through my analysis and background research, I hope to conclude that the Eames House has become a cultural landmark through the way it exemplifies the principles of mid-century design, but also in the way the space allows us to connect with the Eameses themselves.

Watch my research presentation below.

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View the presentation slideshow