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Events November 2019

LocalLecture and Workshop

Eva Zeisel's life and design story featured at Cooper Hewitt

November 6, 2019

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum has organized an afternoon of exploring the creative legacy and refined design process of Eva Zeisel (1906–2011). Yao-Fen You, senior curator and head of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department, and Olivia Barry, industrial designer and Zeisel’s longtime design assistant, will lead an intimate collections viewing followed by a hands-on workshop. Workshop participants will examine Zeisel’s work in pattern and repetition across ceramics, textiles, felt, and metalwork, and create their own works inspired by Zeisel’s process.

The same day Cooper Hewitt will present an evening conversation with Margaret Gould Stewart, VP of Product Design at Facebook, and Jean Richards, Eva Zeisel’s daughter. Richards will share first-hand stories about Zeisel’s life, including her childhood in Budapest and introduction to pottery, false imprisonment in Russia and harrowing escape from the Stalinist purges, surviving two World Wars, and emigration to the United States where she became one of the most celebrated industrial designers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Eva Zeisel’s career was international in scope and spanned more than 75 years. Known for lyrical and shapely ceramics, she produced over 100,000 objects. She described her approach to design as “the playful search for beauty.” In 1946, she became the first American designer to create an all-white Modern dinner service, for which she was honored with a special exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As a professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, she was the first to teach ceramics as industrial design for mass production rather than as a handicraft. At the age of 98, Zeisel was honored with the 2005 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.


Wednesday November 6
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian

Eva Zeisel: Designing in the Air
3:00pm - 6:00 pm
Details & registration

Eva Zeisel: Life and Design Stories Spanning a Century
6:30pm - 8:00pm
Details & registration

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Week of November 3rd