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Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray

Designer

Eileen Gray (1878-1976) was born in Enniscorthy in Ireland and spent her childhood in London and was among the first women to be accepted at the Slade School of Fine Art, where she was given an apprenticeship in a lacquer workshop. Gray moved to Paris in 1902 where she quickly made a name for herself as one of the leading designers of lacquer shades and decorative panels. During the 20s and 30s she became one of the leading exponents of the revolutionising, new theories on design and structure, and she worked closely together with many of the leading proponents of the modernistic movement, including Le Corbusier and JJP Oud. Her next major contribution was in the world of architecture. Encouraged by Le Corbusier and JJP Oud, Gray designed two houses in Alpes Maritimes, one on Roquebrune (built 1927-29) and another on Castellar (built 1932-34). After the war and until her death, Eileen Gray continued working as a designer. She had an interest in the cultural and social centre and in a number of small furniture designs. In 1972, she was named 'Royal Designer to Industry' by Royal Society of Art, London. In 1973, Gray signed a contract with Aram-Designs, London, thus bringing her designs into production for the first time. Museum of Modern Art added her legendary Adjustable Table E1027 to its permanent design collection in 1978.