Tuesday, September 11

Eva Zeisel and her Sensual Modernism

Lived for 105 years... and lived constantly in the present.
Eva Zeisel, born in Budapest in 1906, apprenticed to potters as a teenager, then worked in Germany and later Russia and Vienna. Landed in New York in 1938 with her husband Hans and began her second design career that will define an era. Organic shapes, toned colors, a sense of fun and play and fluid lines set her appart of a cold modernism, she wanted to bring humanity to design and she did.

"I didn't accept the purism of modern design," she said. "In my definition, if it gave beauty to the eye, it was beauty."_Eva.

“I don’t create angular things. I’m a more circular person—it’s more my character….even the air between my hands is round.”

"I call myself a maker of things. I don't call myself an industrial designer, because among other things industrial designers want to make novel things. Novelty is a concept of commerce, not an aesthetic concept. The industrial design magazine I believe is called "Innovation". Innovation is not part of the aim of my work. Well, makers of things, we make things more beautiful, more elegant, more comfortable than just a craftsman do."

Below is a great interview that shows her fascinating energy and her bright mind at 93 years of age. Just look at her hands drawing, that's a life well lived.


  1. Can you post comments, notes or credits on the items pictured?

  2. You can find the information by clicking on her name hyperlink that takes you to MOMA Collections.