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Ray’s Hand

House of Cards on Aluminum Presentation Panel


In 1958, the Eames Office prepared several portable presentation panels displaying past projects. This one highlights House of Cards, a toy inspired by the childhood pastime of precariously stacking playing cards— an endeavor made far easier in the Eameses’ version thanks to notches around the cards’ edges. As arranged on this panel, however, the cards’ construction potential takes a back seat to their graphics. They bear a total of 108 images split between two sets: the “Pattern Deck,” which featured a range of mostly geometric patterns largely sourced from fine papers, and the “Picture Deck,” for which objects from around the Eameses’ home had been carefully selected, arranged, and photographed. Examples from both decks are included here, as well as one instance of the asterisk symbol that decorate the cards’ back sides. The supporting panel itself is made of aluminum, a material the Eames Office had been working with intensively as it developed the Eames Aluminum Group, a collection of chairs and tables that combined cast aluminum supports with fabric seats. Aluminum was chosen for that project in part because of its light weight, and this same quality made it an ideal substrate for the presentation panels, allowing them to be easily packed, transported, and installed. Ease of installation was further ensured by holes drilled along the panels’ edges, so that they could be hung on the wall with nothing but a pair of nails.

  • Manufacturer: Office of Charles and Ray Eames
  • Medium:Paper on aluminum
  • Dimensions:24 x 24 in. (61 x 61 cm)
  • Item:2019.2.357