Eva Zeisel's Bellybutton in our Lobby

Feb 23 2011

(Eva Zeisel is the bees knees)

Anyone who knows anything about industrial design will tell you that Eva Zeisel is pretty much the shiznit.  She’s literally one of the most important modern designers ever.  But don’t let Ms. Zeisel hear you describe her as an industrial designer, she instead prefers the title, “maker of useful things”.  Adorable, we know, but she’s got some serious street cred, too.  In 1946, she was the first woman to ever have a one-person-show at MOMA.  Her design for that show, the Museum line, was the first ever table service created in the US that was entirely white, prior to that fancy tableware was sparkly and gilded and covered in ornate birds and flowers.  Using organically curved plates and dishes Eva Zeisel single-handedly invented a new modern way of being formal.

(This picture makes mid-century modern collectors cream their pants. 
Museum line: Creamer, relish tray, small bowl and spoons by Eva Zeisel.  Photo courtesy of the MOMA)

In this little video homage, designer Todd Oldham nicknamed Ms. Zeisel “The den mother of biomorphic design”.   She has said, “I don’t create angular things, I’m a more circular person — it’s more my character.”  Our darling of modern architecture, The Standard, Hollywood, is fortunate enough to have one of Eva Zeisel’s pieces on display in the lobby.   Flanking either side of Hollywood’s shag carpeted lobby lounge, Ms. Zeisel’s Bellybutton Divider hugs the space creating an intimate room within a room.  The Bellybutton Divider’s curves are both reminiscent of the female form (like the one displayed nightly in the vitrine) and mirror the undulating balconies that encircle the building. 

(The Standard, Hollywood’s Bellybutton Room Divider by Eva Zeisel)

In November 2011 Ms. Zeisel will turn 105 years old and she’s working just as hard as ever.   Her classic dinner service can be purchased at Crate & Barrel, she has items available at Design Within Reach, and her divine furniture and some of her older pieces can be obtained on her website here.

(Eva Zeisel’s Bellybutton Room Divider is permanently on display in the lobby of The Standard, Hollywood.  Photo by Nikolas Koenig)