Love Letters From Famous Designers

We hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day yesterday. Valentine’s Day may be deemed a “Hallmark holiday” these days, but nothing can beat an old-fashioned, handwritten letter. Who doesn’t have a memento-filled shoebox stashed somewhere? Luckily, these designers did — and it’s no surprise that the love and creativity they put into their design work translates to their personal narratives. Couples Eero and Aline Saarinen and Charles and Ray Eames were also friends with one another, so we can imagine they had some great double dates.

eero-and-aline

Eero Saarinen is known for famous furniture designs like Tulip table and chairs, but he is also a hopeless romantic.

 

Eero and Aline Saarinen

Image: Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

 

He married editor and art critic Aline Louchheim in 1953, after she was assigned to interview him about his designs for the GM Technical Center in Detroit. She later left the New York Times to join Eero Saarinen’s namesake firm.

 

Eero and Aline Saarinen

Image: Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

 

Even outside of their shared work, the couple encouraged one other’s pursuits and had an equal partnership that was progressive for the time. Eero would assist Aline with dinner after his long work shifts before they retreated to a private study.

 

Eero and Aline Saarinen

Image: Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

 

The couple also had the joint signature; Eero signed his letters as “E of AE” and Aline, “A of AE.”

 

Eero and Aline Saarinen

Image: Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

 

Together they had a son who they named Eames after Eero’s collaborator, Charles Eames.

 

Eero and Aline Saarinen

Image: Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

 

Eero Saarinen passed away in 1961, but Aline continued his legacy by overseeing his incomplete projects as well as contributing to a CBS special and book about his life works.

 

Eero and Aline Saarinen

Image: Aline and Eero Saarinen papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

 


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