Monday, January 25, 2010


I interviewed living design legend Eva Zeisel just after she turned 100 and I turned 37. (We share the same birthday.) Since then, I have exchanged some emails with her grandson son and head of Eva Zeisel Originals, Adam Zeisel. I also was contacted by Pat Moore, who runs The Eva Zeisel Forum.

Some recent activity let me know that Eva is still alive and kicking:

Eva Reference #1

In the February issue of Oprah Magazine, Eva Ziesel showed up as #58 on a list entitled "100 Things That Are (Actually) Getting Better".
58. Eva Zeisel
With, among other things, her classic dinner service still flying off the shelves at Crate & Barrel, her new line of Royal Stafford dinnerware, the teakettle she created for Chantal, and the lounge chair of our dreams, the Hungarian artist, at 103, is being lauded like a midcareer phenom.
Eva Reference #2

I just received a kind note from a geriatrician who had read a letter which Eva had sent this month to The New Yorker. First, Eva's letter:

A letter in response to Louis Menand’s article (December 21, 2009)

January 18, 2010

According to Louis Menand’s review of Michael Scammell’s new biography of Arthur Koestler, I converted Koestler to Communism in Berlin in 1931 (A Critic at Large, December 21st & 28th). This is silly. I was never a Communist, and never encouraged Koestler (or anyone else) to become one, or to “lurch to the left.” I worked in Russia, and in many other countries, but I was apolitical. My arrest in Russia, in 1936, for “conspiring to kill Stalin,” was a trumped-up charge, as were many arrests during the Stalin purges.

Eva Striker Zeisel
New York City

Here is Dr. Murray Bratt's letter to me in response to Eva's letter and my blog post about her:

Dear Ms Traubman,

Thank you so much for your blog of 1-13-2007, interviewing Eva Zeisel, which I accessed this evening, after reading her feisty letter published in this week’s New Yorker, in response to Menand’s review of the new biography of Arthur Koestler.

Had I not found your blog, and the other info available on line about Ms Zeisel, I would have believed the letter was a put-on. Who could possibly still be passionate about events that happened to them in 1931 in Berlin?

Evidently, Ms. Zeisel can be!

I am a geriatrician. Not all of my patients of 104 are as alert as she appears to be.

If you ever interview her again, please let me know how to access the interview. She seems like a lady one couldn't read too much about.

Best wishes,

Murray Batt

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