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Designed by Eva Polyani Stricker Zeisel (Hungarian, born 1906)
Manufactured by Shenango Pottery Company, New Castle, PA, for Castleton China, New York City,
Museum Coffee Pot, designed 1942-1943, porcelain.
Partial and promised gift, Adele and Leonard Leight Collection 2007.9.8 a c

Hungarian-born Eva Zeisel was one of a handful of émigré women designers who helped redefine modernist ceramic designs in mid-twentieth-century America. Born in Budapest in 1906, she worked in Germany and later Russia before coming to New York in 1938. Her early work was clearly defined by the simple clean lines of the Bauhaus style that was popular at the time of her training, but her work has come to be known for organic curves that reflect the natural curves of the body. Many of the forms and colors of her work are heavily influenced by the Hungarian folk crafts that she was familiar with from her youth. This coffee pot is a piece from the “Museum” line, reputedly the first all white modernist dinner service produced in the United States. Among the best known of her works, the “Museum” line was produced by Castleton and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art. The simple white undecorated coffee pot exemplifies Zeisel’s work from this period. The bulbous body tapers to a narrow neck, the forms united by an elegant flat looped handle, creating a useful, comfortable piece of modernist design.

 

 

 
 
 


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