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Christmas Card with Bird’s-Eye View of St. Louis

Charles Eames


When Charles was married, he continued to create delightful holiday cards like this one from Catherine, Lucia, and himself. This bird’s-eye view of St. Louis offers a glimpse into his first year as a new father.

  • Medium:Printmaking
  • Item:A.2019.2.005
Curatorial Notes
Charles created celebratory Christmas cards over the years, using traditional images such as wreaths, churches, family homes and pets, reindeer, and this illustrated, hand-drawn overview of the city of St. Louis. He rendered himself (with first wife, Catherine, and daughter, Lucia) in the lower left, at the intersection of Rosedale and Pershing Streets. Already a capable technical draftsman at this time, Charles employed techniques such as a vanishing point, a strong horizon line, and a compass to orientate the holiday viewer who was likely to be a friend or family member. The very skillfully rendered yet whimsical map is centered around St. Louis’s noted Forest Park, with its outdoor “Muny” opera, art museums, and zoo, and also features landmark streets, directions to Grandfather’s house, and Charles’s firm of Gray, Eames, and Pauley, among other important personal references. Washington University is only partially depicted in the lower left, but not labeled or otherwise called out (which was perhaps a loose reference to Charles’s early dismissal from the school after advocating for Frank Lloyd Wright).

Rachael Blackburn Cozad