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Eileen Gray was a pioneer of architecture

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Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray

It's believed the prospective buyer of the 1798 Centre plans to develop an Eileen Gray exhibition and cafe in the building.

The significant contribution that Eileen Gray made in the world of architecture and design cannot be overstated.

Born in Enniscorthy on August 9, 1878, the design icon died in Paris 98 years later and is buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris.

An architect and furniture designer she is widely regarded as a pioneer of the modern movement in architecture and throughout her career she was associated with many notable European artists including Jean Badovici and Adrienne Gorska.

She was born into an aristocratic family and having attended the Slade School of Art in London, where she enrolled when she was 20 years-of-age, she moved to Paris in 1902 and spent the majority of her life in the French capital.

Her most successful products were her carpets, for which she created a weaving workshop in the early part of the 20th century.

At the time of her rise to fame the fact she was a woman and her innovative and unusual style brought her great acclaim.

From Art Deco to modernism, her designs incorporated a range of styles. Her pieces are highly collectable and in 2009, her brown leather, 'Dragons', chair sold for $28m at a Christie's auction.

With the interest in Gray very much alive in Europe, especially in France, there is potential to develop a tourism product around the story of a pioneering woman whose story may have unfolded in France but who was very much part of the history of Wexford.

Enniscorthy Guardian