The Extraordinary Eva Zeisel Dies

One of my heroes, the ceramic artist and designer Eva Zeisel, died a few days ago at the age of 105. While a young woman, she had the kind of history-making life that few of us will ever quite equal. In 1936, she was arrested on trumped-up charges that she had plotted to assassinate Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. She was imprisoned for 16 months, spending most of it in solitary confinement. And yet in later years she did not speak of experiencing much post-traumatic stress disorder. “To be alive is a gift,” she told my friend (and self-described “dish queen”) Scott Baldinger. One other remark of hers that Baldinger related to me: “I have only one problem in my life,” she said at age 89. “It’s coming to an end.” Woody Allen couldn’t have phrased it better!

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