Eileen Gray

English (1878 - 1976)
Eileen Gray Untitled About 1940 - 1942

Biography

Born 1878
Died 1976
Nationality English

Eileen Gray was born in County Wexford, Ireland and is regarded as one of the most important furniture designers and architects of the early 20th century. Gray studied painting at Slade School of Fine Art in London, following which she undertook an apprenticeship in lacquer working and cabinet making at a London lacquer workshop. She established herself as one of the leading designers of lacquered screens and decorative panels, and in 1922 she opened her own gallery in Paris to display her own furniture and decorative designs. In the 1920s and 1930s Gray turned to architecture, creating important modernist buildings in France. Although a visionary in modern furniture design and architecture, Gray and her work were somewhat forgotten, while her peers including Le Corbusier were revered. In 1968, eight years before she died, Gray's work returned to the public consciousness and her contribution to design was recognised.