In Memoriam: Eva Zeisel, ceramic designer, 105
BUDAPEST (AFP) – Hungarian-born ceramic artist Eva Zeisel, who was once jailed in Stalin’s Soviet Union, died in New York on Friday aged 105, friends announced Sunday on a website dedicated to her.
Born on Nov. 13, 1906 in Budapest to a Jewish family, Zeisel made a name for herself mostly after she left Europe.
She developed designs for fine china companies and major department stores, with many of her pieces now in museums around the world, according to a biography by the Eva Zeisel Forum.
After traveling around Europe to develop her skills, she landed in jail in the Soviet Union in 1936 during Stalin’s purges and later just made it out of Austria to England on the eve of the Nazi invasion.
The Hungarian-born British writer Arthur Koestler used her experiences as inspiration for his 1940 novel Darkness at Noon, a scathing critique of the Soviet regime, according to the Forum.
It was in the United States that Zeisel eventually settled, where New York’s Museum of Modern Art dedicated an exhibit to her in 1947.
A recipient of design awards in the United States and Britain as well as Hungary’s Middle Cross of the Order of Merit, her designs are featured in the collections of the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
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