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January 05, 2012 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-01-05

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Obituaries from page 45


97, of West
Bloomfield, died
Dec. 30, 2011.
He is survived
by his beloved
wife, Paula
Weiss of West
Bloomfield; son
c. 1946
and daughter-
in-law, Bob and Mary Jo Weiss
of Bloomfield Twp.; daughter
and son-in-law, Gail and Jim
Richardson of Huntington
Woods; grandchildren, Melissa
Richardson, James Richardson,
Dave Weiss, Brandon (Julie) Weiss;
great-grandson, Nick; many lov-
ing nieces, nephews, other family
members and friends.
Mr. Weiss was the brother of the
late Lil Kersch, the late Charlotte
Sherman and the late Sara Weiss.
A memorial services will be
held Friday, Jan. 6, at 2 p.m. at
Dorfman Chapel. Contributions
may be made to St. Johns Hospice
or to a charity of one's choice.
Arrangements by Dorfman Chapel.


Dearborn Heights, died Dec. 23,
She is survived by her daughter,
Dorene Steel; brother and sister-
in-law, Ralph and Estelle Levin;
nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Zuckman was the beloved
wife of the late Leo Zuckman; the
loving mother of the late Michael
Zuckman and the late Helene
Zuckman; the devoted daughter of
the late Meyer and the late Frieda
Levin; the dear sister of the late
Frances Kagan.
Contributions may be made
to the Kidney Foundation of
Michigan, 1169 Oak Valley Drive,
Ann Arbor, MI 48108, www.khfm.
Interment was held at Clover
Hill Park Cemetery. Arrangements
by Ira Kaufman Chapel.


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46 January 5 2012


Modernist Designer

l_an D. Abbey


va Zeisel, whose post-war tableware
designs "helped to revolutionize the way
Americans set their tables" — but who
also suffered imprisonment and torture in the days
of Joseph Stalin — died at 105 on Dec. 30, 2011.
Zeisel was "one of the most influential indus-
trial designers of the 20th century, who created
lyrical yet practical tableware and ceramics:' the
Los Angeles Times said.
The New York Times said Zeisel was among the
designers who "brought the clean, casual shapes
of modernist design into middle-class American
homes with furnishings that encouraged a post-
war desire for fresh, less formal styles of living."
She was active until recent years and had won
numerous awards over the decades. Her original
items are collectibles, and mass-produced ver-
sions are sold widely. Retailer Crate & Barrel has
items based on her designs from the 1950s.
Before she made it to America in 1938, how-
ever, Zeisel had already lived a lifetime of suc-
cess, renown and then horror. She was born in
Budapest, Hungary. Her father was a prosperous

textile manufac-
turer. She studied
painting at the
Royal Academy
of Fine Arts in
Budapest but later
turned to pottery.
She lived and
Eva Zeisel
worked in Weimar
Germany and then
moved to Ukraine. By age 29, she was named
art director at the state-run Porcelain and Glass
But six years later, during the era of the noto-
rious show trials and purges, she was arrested
on charges that she had plotted to assassinate
Stalin. Her imprisonment lasted 16 months,
including 12 months in solitary confinement,
torture and brainwashing. By several accounts,
Zeisel's experiences were part of what Arthur
Koestler used in writing his famous 1941 novel,
Darkness at Noon.
In 2001, asked how she could have created
beautiful objects after her imprisonment, she
said, "Well, you come out so pleased with life.
Everything is unexpectedly colorful." I I

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