updated 12/11/2010 5:15:26 PM ET 2010-12-11T22:15:26

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 10, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The attempt earlier this year by John and Marilyn Neuhart to auction an archive of Eames images and other research artifacts developed around Ray Eames' last book, "Eames Design," has officially ended with the return of these items to the Eames Family.

The Neuharts had attempted to auction approximately 100,000 items in one large lot at Chicago's Wright Auction House on April 8, 2010, seeking an estimated $150-250,000.   Lucia Eames, Charles' daughter, raised the question of ownership and proposed mediation, but it was rejected, forcing the family to file a lawsuit seeking immediate injunctive and other relief. At that point, Wright pulled the challenged items from the auction, and the Neuharts finally accepted mediation. The Eames Family agreed, and the parties reached a settlement, with approximately 80% of the materials returned to the Eames Family – most of the balance being documentation of an exhibition not designed by the Eameses. No money changed hands in the mediated settlement.

The Neuharts had taken possession of the materials during their work with Ray Eames on the book, "Eames Design." While Marilyn never worked at the Eames Office (despite apparent claims to the contrary), her husband John did, in fact, work at the Eames Office off and on for a period of 7 years, working, for example, on the Mathematica Exhibit. The husband-and-wife team Charles and Ray Eames started what became The Eames Office in 1941, continuing under their direction until his death in 1978 and Ray's in 1988, ten years to the day after Charles death. Over the span of years the Eames Office employed well over 400 people, a diverse staff well known for their talent and dedication. 

When asked about the family's feelings on the process, grandson Eames Demetrios, Director of the Eames Office in Santa Monica, CA, said, "It's sad when an avoidable legal mess distracts from beautiful objects and the beautiful ideas behind them. This process has been a trial for everyone – for us and for the Neuharts too, I imagine. No one gets that time back. So we are just glad that it is over and that these items are back where Ray wanted them."

The majority of the archives from the Eames Office can be found in the Library of Congress to which the Eames Family donated some 1 million items as well as at the Eames Office in Santa Monica, CA. A critical collection of Eames furniture prototypes was directed to the Vitra Design Museum in Germany.

Content from the archives can be found in such published documentation as "An Eames Primer", and "Eames Design" published by Rizzoli and Harry Abrams, respectively; www.eamesoffice.com ; www.eamesfoundation.org and additional oral histories soon available from the Henry Ford Museum on-line at www.oninnovation.com .

CONTACT:  Eames Office
          Media Contact:
          John Berry

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