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Source: An Post

On the 13th of August, An Post issued four stamps in celebration of Ireland’s preeminent furniture designer & architect.

Kathleen Eileen Moray Gray (1878 –1976) was an Irish furniture designer and architect and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. She was, undeniably, a designer of genius, and her work traversed the Art Deco period and the Modernist Movement, leaving a mark on the 20th century and, along with Le Corbusier and Mies Van Der Rohe, she defined modernity. 

Born in Enniscorthy in County Wexford, Gray studied in London but then lived and worked mostly in France. She was a painter by training and never developed an industrial production. That means that each of her pieces is unique and therefore all the more rare. Her masterpiece is a house called E1027 which she built in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in France in 1929 in close collaboration with Romanian architect Jean Badovici. It is a “famous manifesto of modernity”.

Eileen Gray Stamps

Eileen Gray challenged conventional ways of approaching design and her work is now recognised internationally. A recent exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris highlighted the career and the work of an artist who managed to associate tremendous technical virtuosity with an inimitable poetic force. The exhibition showed how she particularly excelled in lacquer and textiles, but also in a new conception of space and of the relationship to furniture and objects. 

Ireland celebrates the work of her most influential 20th Century designer and architect with a permanent exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland, at the Decorative Arts & History site, Collins Barracks, Dublin. The exhibition realised one of Gray’s last ambitions – to have her work brought back to Ireland. 

These four, beautiful, stamps were designed by Ger Garland and feature four of Eileen Gray’s most celebrated furniture pieces; Toiletry cabinet/screen, Transat chair, Adjustable table and Cabinet with pivoting drawers all of which date from between 1926 and 1929. Modern, clean and uncluttered, these stamps perfectly reflect the essence of Eileen Gray’s design approach.

Eileen Gray at Minima


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