Remembering Eva Zeisel Through One Her Most Iconic Designs

The late industrial designer's Cloverware line of tabletop accessories was easy proof of her singular talent.

Early this year, when I read in The New York Times that Eva Zeisel had died, I immediately thought of my plexiglas salad bowl. It was passed down to me by my father who was very much interested in materials and design, both in his business as a seller of fine printing papers and as an individual. He believed, too, in supporting local manufacturers in New York.

The Cloverware “line”, a set of tabletop accessories Zeisel designed in 1947, was produced by the Clover Box and Manufacturing Company, which seemed to be in Western New York. It was that linkage, I think, that brought The Bowl into our home, whether as a purchase or gift.  It was green and beautifully contoured, in the shape of a three-leaf clover.

My husband [Horace Havemeyer, publisher of Metropolis magazine] and I went frequently to exhibits at the IBM Gallery on the lower level of the IBM Building on Madison and 57th Street.  It was there that I became aware of Zeisel and her singular design capability, during the exhibit, Design 1935-1965: What Modern Was, in 1991. I remember saying to Horace, “We have that bowl!”

We still do.  We use it carefully.  We also have the memory of meeting Eva Zeisel and her wonderful daughter, Jean Richards, several times since 1991, mostly at Metropolis events, and being able to thank her, in person.

Categories: Industrial Design