Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eva Zeisel

OK, so you don't actually have to be dead to have an interesting life story. Case in point: Eva Zeisel, featured in this months O magazine. It was the part where I read about all these amazing adventures she'd had growing up in Hungary, learning her craft as a potter, moving to Germany "where she became one of the first people to apply contemporary mass production techniques to the ceramic arts." Then Paris, then back to Germany, then Russia in 1932. "She got one job and then another, until after nearly four years of impressive promotions, at the age of 29, Eva Ziesel was appointed art director of the porcelain and glass industry for the entire republic."

At the age of 29???? My God!

Then, of course, there's the part where she's jailed by Stalin for 16 months, then Austria, then Germany, then fleeing from Germany in 1938 and emigrating to America...I'm exhausted just reading about it.

She's now 103 and is still making furniture, glass, bronze castings--absolutely beautiful. You can see it here. (below: Eva Zeisel teapot from Crate and Barrel)

3 comments:

Molly said...

Hear from Eva herself -- http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/eva_zeisel_on_the_playful_search_for_beauty.html

Also, it should be noted that she's no ordinary designer. Her work was included in New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1942, and to quote her bio, "her works are in the permanent collections of Brohan Museum, Germany; the British Museum; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Montréal; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Brooklyn, Metropolitan, Dallas, Knoxville, Milwaukee, Hillwood (Washington, D.C.), the Erie (NY), and Mingei International (San Diego) museums in the United States, among others." I like the part where the Metropolitan Museum is just sandwiched in as part of the list!

Oh, yeah. And she picked up the lifetime achievement award from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, too.

Amazing, amazing woman.

Adam Zeisel said...

Pretty darn good grandma too! That gets lost in the mix with all the career achievements. :)

Laura Toepfer said...

Wow! I feel like we've been visited by royalty! Thanks for stopping by and for commenting, and tell your grandmother hello.