Biography Of Eileen Gray
Eileen Gray was an Irish furniture designer who pioneered the International Style aesthetic. She lived for 98 years having been born in August 1878, and died in 1976.
Her family was aristocratic and lived in south-eastern Ireland. In a family of five, Eileen Gray was the youngest. Her family was wealthy and owned several homes. Her father, Eveleen James was an amateur painter and gave his daughter an interest to paint too. Most of the time, he took
his daughter for tours in different countries. Through this, Eileen Gray’s interest in design evolved. Most of the time, she lived in her parents’ home in London when she was still a child.
When she was twenty years old, Eileen Gray attended classes of fine art at the Slade School. This was courtesy of her father, who had all through cherished her desire for design. She was among the first women to study art in that school. In the school, she made several friends, among which were Gavin and Bruce.
On Eileen Gray’s first visit to Paris with her mother in 1900, she experienced the Exposition, which was a world’s fair in celebration of its achievements in the previous century. The major style there was art and Gray was a fan of the same.
Eileen Gray later moved to Paris together with the friends she had made in the Slade School. She went on with her studies at Julian and Colarossi Academies. After about four years, she moved back to London and later settled there when her mother became sick. She then used her free time to study in her old Slade School, but it came to her notice that her courses in painting and drawing were not as satisfying as they were before.
When still at London, Eileen Gray noticed a lacquer shop and was interested in the fundamentals of the work. The owner of this shop introduced her to the lacquer industry since he had many contacts for people working there. When Eileen Gray later moved to France, she met Seizo, one of the people working for the same industry. After working with Seizo for several years, she noticed that she was addicted to the job and could not leave it! She put more effort in her work and at thirty-five, she exhibited with it.
During the First World War, Eileen Gray could not continue working so she moved back to London with Seizo. They completely depended on their families for provision during this period. However, after the war ended, they went back to Paris. Eileen Gray opened an apartment where she could carry on with her work.
In 1923, her focus was now on furniture and architecture design. She designed many houses and furniture for people and her reviews stood out. She slowly became famous and recognized. She later furnished her own home and stayed there most of the time to carry on with her work.
During the Second World War, Eileen Gray was forced to move during the second year. This period marked the loss of most of her precious possessions. However, after the war, she started new projects on her work when she noticed that most people had forgotten her design work. Before her death, her work was shown in most of the exhibitions and she is remembered up to date.