June 18, 2006

MODERN ART & DESIGN AUCTION

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Lot 298: Charles and Ray Eames

Lot 298: Charles and Ray Eames

Computer Day at Midvale

1964
Hand-painted on aluminum panel mounted on wood
38" x 46.5"
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $4,200
Inventory Id: 13297

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MORE INFORMATION:

This was custom designed for the IBM Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. Computer Day at Midvale was one of three computer controlled puppet shows that were ensconced in custom built miniature stages beneath the kiosks. The opening panel of the show was a newspaper cover from an imaginary American town of Midvale. The content is loaded with friendly Americana like the phrases Fourth of July and Rockets Red Glare. There is a light-hearted interview with the oldest citizen, an editorial from the mayor’s office and an authoritative statement from a Dr. White. In 1964, it would be hard to imagine three more convincing characters than a doctor, a hometown mayor, and a wise old man. Anyone seeing this show would be further convinced of the computer’s friendliness by the graphic depictions of the American flag, a bald eagle, federalist stars along the border, and an idylic depiction of a small town wrapped in red, white, and blue banner. And, if patriotism alone wasn’t enough of an attraction, IBM offered free donuts and cider after each show.

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