Eileen Gray


Eileen Gray, born on August 9, 1878 in Enniscorthy, Ireland, grew up in a wealthy environment and developed an early interest in art and design. After studying in London, Paris and Germany, she finally settled in Paris, where she became a leading figure in modern design. As early as 1913, her lacquered screens were an outstanding part of her furniture designs and were admired both in the Autumn Salon and at exhibitions of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs. This recognition lasted until the 1930s. Her lacquer work, chests of drawers, sofas, bookcases, wall hangings and hand-knotted carpets impressively documented that the combination of functionality and aesthetics is entirely possible.

Eileen Gray also devoted herself to the design of lamps with the same dedication, although these designs are unfortunately less numerous. As with Chareau, she placed great emphasis on quality rather than quantity when it came to lamps. A talented architect, she also designed the famous house “E1027” on the French Riviera, which is considered a masterpiece of modern architecture. Although she was often overshadowed by her male contemporaries, she left a lasting impact on the world of design. Her work was not properly recognized until late in her life and posthumously. Eileen Gray died on October 31, 1976 in Paris, but her legacy lives on through the many design icons she created. Today she is celebrated as one of the most important pioneers of modern design, whose life story is an inspiring example of passion, innovation and perseverance.

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