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Eileen Gray

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Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray (born Kathleen Eileen Moray Smith; 9 August 1878 – 31 October 1976) was an Irish architect and furniture designer and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. Over her career, she was associated with many notable European artists of her era, including Kathleen Scott, Adrienne Gorska, Le Corbusier, and Jean Badovici, with whom she was romantically involved. Her most famous work is the house known as E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France

 

Gray was born Kathleen Eileen Moray Smith on 9 August 1878, near Enniscorthy, in County Wexford, Ireland. She was the youngest of five children in a Protestant Anglo-Irish family.

Her father, James MacLaren Smith, was a Scottish landscape painter. He encouraged Gray’s interest in painting and drawing. Although he was a minor figure, James corresponded with major artists of the day.

Her parents’ marriage broke up when she was eleven and her father left Ireland to live and paint in Europe.

Gray’s mother, Eveleen Pounden, was a granddaughter of Francis Stuart, 10th Earl of Moray.[3] She became the 19th Baroness Gray in 1895 after the death of her uncle.[3] Although the couple was already separated by this point, Gray’s father changed his name to Smith-Gray by royal licence and the four children were from then on known as Gray.

Gray split her upbringing between Brownswood House in Ireland and the family’s home in Kensington, London.[3]

Both Gray’s brother and father died in 1900.

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