Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray was an Irish-born French-based architecture and furniture designer and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. Her father James Maclaren Smith was a Scottish Landscape painter who was one of her major influences in pursuing her interest in painting and drawing. In 1917, Gray was hired to redesign the Rue de Lota apartment also known as Madame Mathieu Levy. The Rue de Lota apartment has been called “the epitome of Art Deco. An issue of Harper’s Bazaar describes the Rue de Lota as ‘thoroughly modern although with a feel for critically antique. The furniture included some of Gray’s best-known designs - the Bibendum chair was a take on Michelin Man with tire-like shapes sitting on a chrome steel frame. The Pirogue Day Bed was gondola shaped and finished in patinated bronze lacquer. After much success, Gray opened her shop in 1922 and named it Jean Desert after an imaginary male owner “Jean” and Gray’s love of the North African Desert.

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