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Throwing Curves - Eva Zeisel

You may not know Eva Zeisel yet, but you certainly know her work.

“Throwing Curves – Eva Zeisel” explores the life and art of a brave & adventurous woman who conquered the 20th century with her curvilinear style to become one of the most famous industrial designers of the modern era. She thought of her designs as gifts to others. Her motto was “the playful search for beauty.”

Working primarily in porcelain and ceramic tableware, Eva Zeisel’s pioneering work introduced her trademark sensuous curves to mass-production. Her one woman show at the Museum of Modern Art. (MoMA) in 1946 put her on the map. Her many years of teaching at Pratt Institute influenced generations of designers. With over 80 years in the field, Eva was one of the best-selling tableware designers of all time and her highly-collectable designs have changed the face of modern design in the 20th century.

“Throwing Curves – Eva Zeisel” explores Eva’s life from her birth in Hungary in 1906 through her career working in Berlin in the 20s, the Soviet Union in the 30s, and New York from the 40’s on. She was a witness to all the major art and political movements of the 20th century, which she thought of as “her” century. The film interweaves her design work with her dramatic life-history, which includes sixteen months in a Soviet Union prison (falsely accused of conspiring to kill Stalin), escaping the Nazis, and setting up a new life as an immigrant in post-war New York City. Finally, in a testimony to one of America’s earliest “super moms”, the film explores the tension between modern motherhood and a career in the arts.

“Throwing Curves – Eva Zeisel” is a lesson in longevity and perseverance. Eva continued to design until her death in 2011 at the age of 105. Her work is represented in most major museums, and her designs for furniture, lamps, flatware and dinnerware continue to be sold at such retailers as Crate and Barrel, Design Within Reach, and

“Throwing Curves – Eva Zeisel” has been screened at thirty major museums in the U.S. and Europe including the MET.

More information about Eva can be found at

Additional Info

Producer / Director
Jyll Johnstone

Director of Photography
Don Lenzer

Kate Stilley

Running Time






About the Film


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