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Eva Zeisel: The Playful Search for Beauty
organized by the Knoxville Museum of Art and curated by Dr, Karen Kettering
June 9 - September 3, 2006

This retrospective exhibition of one of the 20th century’s most influential industrial designers, Eva Zeisel examines Zeisel’s influence on ceramic ware. It is the first to include Zeisel’s contribution to industrial designs while in the former Soviet Union which would later determine her contributions to modern design in the United States. Over 100 pieces of ceramic ware will be on display this summer demonstrating the fluid lines, sensuous forms and organic simplicity of the modern aesthetic in decorative arts.

Zeisel’s personal history is not so different from many of her European peers working in the early decades of the 20th century. Driven from central Europe by xenophobia and unemployment, Zeisel took her innovative ideas to the Soviet Union where she transformed the concept of mass produced items from something cold and sterile to something warm and familiar. It is the merger of good design with good business sense and forward thinking that is evident in Zeisel’s designs. Fortunately, we find these same elements creeping back into contemporary mass-produced products for the home in the products made for current corporate icons such as Target, Ikea, and Apple Computers.


Eva Zeisel with KlienReid, Upright Vases, Eva Line, KlienReid (Brooklyn, NY), porcelain, 1999