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Steinberg Meets the Eameses

Photograph of Steinberg Drawing Projected onto Ray Eames

Charles Eames, Saul Steinberg

c. 1950

This portrait is one of a series in which Ray Eames was photographed with a Saul Steinberg drawing of a woman in Victorian-style jewelry projected onto her face and chest. In this instance, Ray leans her head away from the projected face, disrupting the illusion but also revealing herself to the viewer. This gesture—and the series overall— calls to mind psychoanalytic theories of hidden selves, repressed fears, and unconscious desires, as well as therapeutic strategies for accessing them. Such theories and treatments were becoming increasingly popular in the United States when these photographs were taken, eventually reaching a peak in the late 1950s–1960s before the scales began to tip towards behaviorist theories of psychology, which place greater emphasis on actions and environments than on the mysteries of the mind.

  • Medium:Photograph
  • Dimensions:5 x 4 in. (12.7 x 10.2 cm)
  • Item:A.2019.2.1627