Throughout her eighty year career, Eva Zeisel (1906-2011) created works that defined her vision of modern design. As tangible objects of beauty, her designs transform with interaction. They are intended to be held and touched as well as to delight the eye. They are works of sculpture in addition to being functional. Her timeless, classic designs are in the collections of major museums worldwide, including the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Zeisel's mantra was "the playful search for beauty". She wrote that "For every use and every production process there are equally attractive solutions". Zeisel is considered one of the major designers of the 20th and 21st centuries and is often mentioned alongside midcentury visionaries such as Alvar Aalto, Ray and Charles Eames, and Russel Wright.
Born in Hungary, Zeisel began as a painter, but soon turned to pottery in order to support herself. After an apprenticeship in the potter's guild, she worked in the commercial design world, which at the time was primarily dominated by men. She went on to design for factories in many countries in Europe, including Germany and Russia as well as in the United States. Although Eva never called herself an artist, she referred to herself as “a maker of things”, her designs have a deeply individual, sensual aesthetic which is uniquely her own.
The rare works offered here are from Eva Zeisel's own personal collection and showcase some of her earliest and momentous collaborations with noted firms in Germany and the United States. These daring modern designs are a richly personal snapshot into Zeisel's many extraordinary achievements.