Eva Zeisel

The ceramic designer Eva Zeisel made modernism feel right at home. Her stylish tableware had clean lines and surfaces but also voluptuous silhouettes that made it sensuous, warm and inviting. The bodily relations between mothers and children were a fundamental inspiration--her salt and pepper shakers almost cuddle.

The Hungarian-born Zeisel, who was 105 when she died on Dec. 30, immigrated to the U.S. in 1938. Two years earlier, while design director of the state-run Soviet porcelain and glass industry, she had been falsely accused of plotting to kill Joseph Stalin. She spent 16 months in prison, an experience her childhood friend...

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