On December 30, 2011 at the ripe age of 105 the acclaimed ceramicist, artist, designer, and all around Renaissance woman, Eva Zeisel left this world at her home here in New York City.
Eva was not only super-talented, but she had a checkered past – even serving a prison sentence at the age of 29 in Moscow for being falsely accused of murder while she was the director of the Russian China and Glass industry. Shortly after she was released, she fled Nazi occupied Vienna for England where she met her husband Hans Zeisel.
Zeisel’s career in design took off in the United States. In addition to designing for companies such as Hall China, Castleton China, Western Stoneware, Federal Glass, Heisey Glass and Red Wing Pottery, Zeisel developed and taught the first course in Ceramics for Industry at the Pratt Institute in New York. In 1946, Zeisel was given the first one-woman show “Eva Zeisel: Designer for Industry”, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Eva’s latest works included products for Design Within Reach, The Rug Company, Neue Galerie, Gump’s, Eva Zeisel Originals, and Royal Stafford and Crate and Barrel. The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art have both issued new releases of some of her early designs in new glazes and colors, that were supervised by Zeisel. To celebrate her 100th birthday, Zeisel designed her first teakettle, for Chantal, of Texas.
The “creator of things” will most certainly be missed….