Eva Zeisel

Eva%20Zeisel.jpgDesigner We Love: Eva Zeisel

Websites: Eva Zeisel DesignEva Zeisel Forum

Quotable Quote: "We feel differently, more intimately, about dishes than we do about shoes or chairs or forks. If we unexpectedly come upon a chair like we used when we were children we say, 'We had a chair like that at home.' But if we come upon dishes like we used on the dinner table with our parents, we will surely exclaim: 'Look! Our dishes!'"

Background

Born in Hungary, 1906

Her well-off upbringing was filled with encouragement for her art

Formal painting training at Royal Academy of Fine Arts

Left the Academy to pursue her love of pottery

Was the first-ever female journeyman potter at age 18

1119464584_5300.jpgIn 1928, designed tablewares for Schramberger Majolika Fabrik, supervising 350+ workers

Artistic Director of the China and Glass Industry in the Soviet Union

Falsely accused of being part of a plot to assassinate Joseph Stalin, jailed 16 months in solitary, faced the death penalty -- others were executed, but she was freed for unknown reasons (likely her family lobbied greatly for her release)

1938 emigration to U.S. to flee the Nazis

Became top ceramic design instructor at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute -- first U.S. course on mass markets for ceramic design

Museum of Modern Art offered her a show of her Castleton porcelain dinnerware in 1947, MOMA's first one-woman show

Created dinnerware for Hallcraft, Sears, Red Wing Pottery

After World War II, she pioneered designs for busy homemakers with elegant casserole dishes and her Town and Country series of dinnerware which could be easily mixed and matched

Still designed up until her death on December 30, 2011 at age 105

Her older series have been reissued by Crate & Barrel, KleinReid, The Orange Chicken

Zeisel's works are on display in major museums worldwide

EvaZeiselbook.jpgWhat We Love

Ms. Zeisel is our role model: we wish we could still be vital, alive, and creative when we're 101

Merging the worlds of the fine arts with mass merchandise and industrial design

Her pioneering work in the design arts, influencing other creative people by combining teaching with her design work

Introducing modernism into middleclass American homes

Her work looks like modern sculpture, but their warmth invites touch and use

Bringing emotion, passion, and contemplation through beautiful objects designed for our everyday food rituals

"I have always thought of my own work as a link between the past and the future, not as a break or departure from past styles."

Eva Zeisel Sampler

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Photo Credits: Boston.com, Crate & Barrel, Cathy of California, Better Living Through Design, The Metropolitan Museum, Jerry and Martha, Erie Art Museum, The Overlook Press

Jay JohnsonComment