Eileen Gray was of scotch-irish heritage. In 1900 she had already completed two years of study at the Slade School of design in London. She then discovered the workshop of D. Charles, a painter who was specialized in laquer. She worked with him and learned all that was necessary for that period of her professional carrer. In 1902 she went to Paris where she continued to study design and oriental Laquer. Only 6 years later did she dare to exhibit her work in an interior design exhibition. She caught the attention of Jaques Doucet, the couturiere who assigned her the task of furnishing and decorating his new home. Her first big assignment was furnishing "Madame Levy" in Rue de Lota. In 1922 she started the "Jean Desert" Gallery in the fashionable Rue Fauburg St. Honore, where she displayed and sold her furniture, screen and lamps. A long illustrated article in a Dutch Magazine, a new exhibit and the approval of Gropius, Mallet Stevens and Le Corbousier encouraged Gray to take the step toward architecture. After 4 years of intensive study, advised by the theorist Jean Bodovici, at Roquebrune on the mediterranean coast, she built a house for herself; spacious and practical, with many well thought out and witty details. Her following works were never realized. From the 50's on, her sight and hearing continued to deminish; however, she continued to invent new projects and to experiment with new materilas. At age 80, she transformed hayloft near St. Tropez into a summer home for herself. Shortly prior to her death she had the satisfaction of a retrospection showing of her most significant works given at the Muse des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.ART164
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