Beauty and Love
I have begun reading a wonderful book by Eva Zeisel, On Design: The Magic Language of Things. I discovered Eva Zeisel a decade ago, falling in love with the flowing lines of her modern ceramics. Her design career spanned two centuries, beginning in the 1920's and continuing into the new millenium. A woman in the male-dominated field of industrial design, she stood just outside the stream, believing in the emotional language of form and the deep value of beauty in a time when a hard-edged and linear attachment of form to function was the dominant mode.
Born in Hungary in 1906, Eva left us 105 inspiring years later, on December 30, 2011. On Design was published in 2004, when she was 98 years old.
She writes with strength and confidence about the values of beauty and love and their necessary prominence to design:
She lived in New York for most of her life, having moved first to Russia in the 1930's. She was jailed there for 16 months when she was falsely accused of plotting and assassination attempt on Joseph Stalin. She held in solitary confinement for much of that time in a tiny cell she called "the cupboard". She was released without explanation and promptly emigrated to the USA. She said on her release that she could see everything so much more clearly…
I have been intrigued for a long time with the early 20th century period, but so many of my heroes of that time perished young. It is particularly inspiring to meet someone, through her writing, whose life arced through so many years and kept on shining with integrity, growth, and wisdom.