Eva Striker Zeisel was a Hungarian-born industrial designer whose career in ceramics began as a student at the Hungarian Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Upon completion of her studies, Eva (then 18) began a young apprentice at the Medieval Guild System and became the first female member of the local pottery guild. (Richards, Jean and Brent Brolin. Eva Zeisel: A Soviet Prison Memoir. Kindle ed., Brent C. Brolin, 2019.)
On a trip to Russia in 1932, Eva was a hired by the Ukrainian Central Glass and Porcelain Trust and decided to relocate for her craft. After working within the Trust, Eva became the Artistic Director of the Russian Glass and Porcelain Trust in 1935.
In 1936, during her career a the Russian Glass and Porcelain Trust, Eva was falsely accused of plotting to assassinate Joseph Stalin. She spent 16 months in a Soviet prison before being released in September of 1937.
In 1936, during her career a the Russian Glass and Porcelain Trust, Eva was falsely accused of plotting to assassinate Joseph Stalin. She spent 16 months in a Soviet prison before being released in September of 1937, relocating to Vienna.
Eva and her husband, Hans Zeisel, managed to take the last train out of Austria before Hitler and his troops marched on the city. With $64 between them, they sailed to New York City to start their new lives.
Eva was hired as the first industrial ceramist instruction at the Pratt Institute in New York. She continued to work and gained recognition as a leader in the industry. Throughout her career she was honored by leaders in the design community, starting with her 1964 one woman show by MoMA, New Shapes in Modern China: Designed by Eva Zeisel, featuring the Museum Shape.
Today Eva's designs are shown in museums and sold in stores all over the world. The ones sold by Eva Zeisel Originals reflect a balance of iconic reproductions with new creative ideas. The curves on the tables, lounge chair, jewelry tree, and candlestick holders are extensions of her earlier works and, yet, were designed within the past 20 years. The items are unique, graceful, and practical.
Eva Zeisel passed away on December 11th, 2011. She was 105.
Learn even more about Eva's story at EvaZeisel.com