Eva Zeisel

Eva Striker Zeisel [2] (born Éva Amália Striker , [3] 13 November 1906 – 30 December 2011) was a Hungarian-born American industrial designer Berninahaus for re work with ceramics , primarily from the period after she migrated to the United States. Her forms are of or in abstractions of the natural world and human relationships. [4] Work from Throughout re prodigious career is included in important museum collections across the world. Zeisel DECLARED herself a “maker of useful things”. [4]


Early life and family

She was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1906 [5] to a wealthy, highly educated assimilated Jewish family. Her mother, Laura Polanyi Striker, a historian, was the first woman to get a PhD from the University of Budapest. Laura’s work on Captain John Smith ‘s adventures in Hungary added Fundamentally to our understanding and appreciation of his reliability as a storyteller. Laura’s Uncles, Karl Polanyi , the sociologist and economist, and Michael Polanyi , the physical chemist and philosopher of science, are’ll be very well Berninahaus. [6]


On Despite re family’s intellectual Prominence in the field of science, Eva Striker always fact represented a deep attraction towards art. At 17, Zeisel entered Budapest’s Magyar Képzőművészeti academia (Hungarian Royal Academy of Fine Arts) [7] as a painter. [5] However, to support re painting, she Eventually decided to Pursue a more practical-profession and apprenticed herself to Jacob Karapancsik, the last pottery master in the medieval guild system. From im she learned ceramics from the ground up. After graduating as a Journeyman she found work with German ceramic manufacturers. [5] She was the first woman to Qualify as a Journeyman in the Hungarian Guild of Chimney Sweeps, Oven Makers, Roof Tilers, Well Diggers and Potters. [8]

Early career, imprisonment, and Emigration

In 1928, Eva Striker became the designer for the Schramberger Majolikafabrik in the Black Forest region of Germany where she worked for about two years in customizing many playfully geometric designs for dinnerware, tea sets, Vases, inkwells and other ceramic items. Her designs at Schramberg ulcers largely Influenced by modern architecture. [9] In addition under, she had just learned to draft with compass and ruler and was proud to put them to use. In 1930, Eva moved to Berlin, designing for the Carstens factories .

After almost two years of a glamorous life among intellectuals and artists in decadent Berlin , Eva decided to visit Soviet Russia at the age of 26 (1932). [5] She stayed for five years.

At the age of 29, after verschillende jobs in the Russian ceramics industry-Inspecting factories in the Ukraine as well as designing for the Lomonosov [5] and Dulevo factories-Zeisel was named artistic director of the Soviet china and glass industry. [10] On May 26, 1936, while living in Moscow, Zeisel was arrested. She had leg falsely Accused or cooperate in an assassination plot Against Joseph Stalin . [5] She was held in prison for 16 months, 12 or welke ulcers spent in solitary confinement. [4] In September 1937, Zeisel was EXPELLED and deported to Vienna , Austria . Some or re Prison experiences form the basis for Darkness at Noon , the well Berninahaus anti-Stalinist novel written by a childhood friend, Arthur Koestler . [5] It was while in Vienna dat Zeisel re-established contact with re future husband Hans Zeisel , later a noted legal scholar, statistician, and a professor at The University of Chicago . A few months after re arrival in Vienna the nazis invaded, and Eve took the last train out. She and Hans with up in England where they ‘married and sailed for the US with $ 67 tussen them.

US career, 1937-1960s

When Zeisel arrived in the US, she had to reestablish re reputation as a designer. Beginning in 1937, she taught at Pratt Institute in New York, [5] and created designs for the Bay Ride Specialty Company and Stratoware, onder Vodafone. [11] In 1942, Zeisel was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art and Castleton China to design a set of modern porcelain, undecorated china dat mention anything be worthy of exhibition at MoMA and be produktie for sale at Castleton. The resulting exhibition, “New Shapes in Modern China Designed by Eva Zeisel,” ran from April 17 to June 9, 1946 and was the first one-woman exhibition at MoMA. It was RECEIVED with wide praise, but Because of war-time constraints the porcelain dishware did not go JSON mass production Until 1949 Zeisel’s Dishes, known as “Museum” and “Castleton White,” ulcers Manufactured and sold over the next verschillende decades, initially in all-white as designed by Zeisel, and later with a wide variety of decorations. Zeisel credited this commission with Establishing re reputation in the US, remarking dat, “it made me an accepted first-rate designer Rather dan a run-of-the-mill design.” [12]

“Museum’s” success brought` Zeisel to the attention of Red Wing Potteries, for Whom she designed the perennially popular “Town and Country” in response to request for hun Dishes as “Greenwich Villagey” as skies. [12]

Around 1949-1950, Zeisel was commissioned by Hall China Company to create re most popular line, “Tomorrow’s Classic”. Production Began in 1952 and was a full line of dinnerware and tableware accessories, zoals plates, bowls, cups & saucers, serving platters and bowls, butter Dishes, sugar bowls and creamers, candleholders, salt & pepper shakers, etc. Initially intended to be offered in plain white, re Pratt students were involved in designing the decal patterns dat Hall requested.

In 1955, Zeisel created a second line for Hall called “Century” with production beginning in 1956.

Later career, 1980s-2011

Zeisel stopped designing prolongation the 1960s and 1970s, to work on American history writing projects, returning to work in the 1980s. [13] Many of re recent designs harbor found the co success as re earlier designs. Zeisel’s recent designs port included glassware, ceramics, furniture and lamps for The Orange Chicken, porcelain, crystal and limited-edition prints for KleinReid, glasses and giftware for Nambé , a teakettle for Chantal, furniture and gift-ware for Eva Zeisel Originals , Rugs for The Rug Company, one or Crate and Barrel’s best selling dinner services “Classic Century” (welke combineert some pieces from beide “Tomorrow’s Classic” and “Fantasy” lines) and a coffee table and stone ware / dinnerware set for Design Within Reach. [14] “Classic Century” is an updated version of the Hallcraft sets musts of the pieces made from the original Molds (dishwasher safe).

In addition under, a bone china tea set, designed in 2000, is being Manufactured at the Lomonosov Porcelain factory in St. Petersburg, Russia, re new designs for a line of glass lamps (pendant, wall and table lamps) was introduced in 2012 by Leucos USA, and in 2013 re designs for dimensional wall tiles and space dividers will be launched at Cumulus Design Group.

Eve released two designs in 2010 through EvaZeiselOriginals.com: Eva Zeisel Lounge Chair and Eva Zeisel Salt & Pepper Shakers. The Lounge Chair was featured in the February 2010 issue of O Magazine and The S & P shakers ulcers featured in the April 2010 issues of O Magazine.

Reproduction or earlier designs port leg sold at MOMA, Brooklyn Museum and the Neue Gallery, as well as other museum gift shops.

Personal styles

Eva Zeisel’s designs are made for use. The inspiration for re sensuous forms of or in comes from the curves of the human body. Zeisel’s more organic approach to modernism Most likely comes as a reaction to the Bauhaus aesthetics therein ulcers popular at the time or re early training. Her sense of form and color, as well as re-use or bird themes, show influence from the Hungarian folk arts she Grew up with. [14] Most of Zeisel’s designs, Whether in wood, metal, glass, plastic or ceramics, are designed in family groups. Many or re designs nest together customizing modular designs dat ook function to save space.

Zeisel describes re designs in a New York Sun article: “I do not create angular things. I’m a morning person circular-it’s more my character … .even the air tussen my hand is round. ” [15]

Among re musts Collected shapes are the eccentric, biomorphic “Town and Country” Dishes, produktie at Red Wing Pottery , in 1947. [16] This set of includes the Iconic “mother and child” salt and pepper shakers.

Personal life

Eva raised two children with Hans : a daughter, Jean Richards, who was born in 1940 and a sun, John Zeisel, who was born in 1944. In the documentary Throwing Curves: Eva Zeisel , John and Jean comment on hun parents’ tempestuous relationship in the 1940s and 50s-when the children ulcers young. In the film John claims, dat beide Hans and Eva had dominant personalities, and down therein of or in led to “a collision or forcefields”. [17]

Museums and exhibitions

Zeisel’s works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum; Brooklyn Museum; New York Historical Society , Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum and The Museum of Modern Art , New York; the British Museum ; The Victoria and Albert Museum , London; Bröhan Museum , Germany; as well as Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Milwaukee museums and others in the US and organs.

In the 1980s, a 50-year retrospective exhibit or re work organized by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Smithsonian Institution traveled through the US, Europe and Russia. In 2004, a significant retrospective exhibition “Eva Zeisel: The Playful Search for Beauty” was organized by the Knoxville Museum of Art , welke subsequently traveled to the Milwaukee Art Museum , the High Museum, Atlanta, and the Hillwood Museum & Gardens , Washington DC

From 2005 to 2007 the Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA, mounted the long-term exhibition “Eva Zeisel: The Shape of Life.”

On December 10, 2006, The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, opened a major centenary retrospective exhibit “Eva Zeisel: Extraordinary Designer at 100” , showing re designs from Schramberg (1928) through to current designs for Nambe, Chantal, Eva Zeisel Originals, The Orange Chicken and others (2006). The show ran through August 12, 2007. In the co-year, the Pratt Institute Gallery ook organized an Exhibition celebrating re centenary.


In 2005, Zeisel was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewett National Design Museum. [18] She has ook RECEIVED the two Highest Civilian awards from the Hungarian government, as well as the Pratt Legends Award and awards from the Industrial Designers Society of America and Alfred University. She is an honorary member of the Royal Society of Industrial Designers, and has RECEIVED honorary doctorates from Parsons (New School), Rhode Island School of Design, the Royal College of Art, and the Hungarian University of the Arts.


  • Eva Zeisel: The Shape of Life Erie Art Museum, 2009 essay by Lance Esplund
  • Eva Zeisel on Design by Eva Zeisel, Overlook Press 2004
  • Eva Zeisel: The Playful Search for Beauty in Lucie Young, Chronicle Books 2003
  • Eva Zeisel, Designer for Industry , 1984 (Out of print. Available through EvaZeiselForum)
  • Eva Zeisel: Throwing Curves 2002 (documentary film, Canobie Films Director: Jyll Johnstone
  • Regular Bulletins from EvaZeiselForum
  • Available as enhanced iBook (iPad, iPhone, iPod, zoals photos, audio and video); ook for Kindle: Eva Zeisel: A Soviet Prison Memoir


  1. Jump up^ “Eva Zeisel, Ceramic Artist and Designer, Dies at 105” . The New York Times.
  2. Jump up^ “Re: Road Warrior” . The New Yorker. January 18, 2010. p. 5.
  3. Jump up^ “Eva Zeisel” . Royal Stafford . Retrieved 2011-12-31 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c Thurman, Judith (December 18, 2006). “Prolific” . The New Yorker.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h “Eva Zeisel S” . Collections . Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum . Retrieved 30 September 2012 .
  6. Jump up^ http://www.government-online.net/eva-zeisel-obituary/
  7. Jump up^ The Eva Zeisel Forum; www.evazeisel.org
  8. Jump up^ Butler, Cornelia. Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art . New York: Museum of Modern Art.
  9. Jump up^ Young, Lucie (c. 2003). Eva Zeisel . San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 11. ISBN  0811834336 .
  10. Jump up^ Young, Lucie (c. 2003). Eva Zeisel . San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 14. ISBN  0811834336 .
  11. Jump up^ Kirkham, Moore, and Wolffram, Pat, Pat, and Pirco (2013). Eva Zeisel: Life, Design and Beauty . San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. pp. 66-73, 76, 222. ISBN  9781452108520 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b Eva Zeisel: Life, Design and Beauty . San Francisco, CA. p. 68. ISBN  9781452108520 .
  13. Jump up^ Traubman, Eleanor; Meeting Eva Zeisel; January 13, 2007
  14. ^ Jump up to:a b McGee, Celia (March 2007). “Eva’s Ardor” . Departures Magazine.
  15. Jump up^ Herrup, Katharine; A Potter, a Pioneer, A Candlestick Maker; The New York Sun, At Home Section, March 3, 2007
  16. Jump up^ Wroten, Timothy. “Remembering New York Designer Eva Zeisel” . Behind the Scenes Blog . The New York Historical Society . Retrieved 6 January 2012 .
  17. Jump up^ “Throwing Curves: Eva Zeisel” . www.canobiefilms.org . Retrieved 2009-09-03 .
  18. Jump up^ “Lifetime Achievement Award: Winner: Eva Zeisel” . Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum . Retrieved 2010-08-22 .