These are the microscopic pits in the cell wall of wood paneling sampled from the famous gem of mid-century modern architecture, the Eames House. The size and arrangement of the pits help us identify this mystery wood as…eucalyptus!
This was exciting for our conservators, as just outside the windows made from Eucalyptus microcorys (commonly known as Australian tallowwood) was a row of eucalyptus trees in the landscaping.
The team developed a theory that perhaps the reiteration of the row of tallowwood trees outside the living room windows may have influenced a conscious design decision—it wasn’t just a coincidence that the Eames chose eucalyptus for the wood paneling along the living room wall.
Art Under the Microscope is a series that features, well, art under the microscope, as photographed by our conservators to better study and preserve our collections.