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Mathematica—The World of Numbers—and Beyond


This postcard captures the second version of Mathematica created by the Eames Office and IBM in 1961 for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago (the first iteration having been installed at the California Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles). Offering a glimpse of what would soon become a core competency of the Eameses’ design consultancy, Mathematica was the first major exhibition produced by the office. The exhibition is illustrative of the multi-faceted approach Ray and Charles Eames took to communicate complex concepts and information: interactive and entertaining mechanical exhibit components coupled with a sheer over-saturation of visual and written content. The office spent a year researching the exhibition, drawing on their connections at IBM and in the world of academia, to most effectively (even non-mathematically) convey both the history of mathematical discovery and the mathematical ideas and principles that underpin our daily lives and the world around us.

  • Medium:Printed paper
  • Dimensions:3 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (8.9 x 14 cm)
  • Item:A.EIAC.2021.I.001