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A collection of models of architectural projects by Eileen Gray were donated to the Irish Architecture Foundation by Professor Caroline Constant in memory of Kevin Kieran in 2006. Kevin Kieran was an architect, distinguished academic and former consultant to the Arts Council. The models are in the care of the Irish Architectural Archive.
Born in the family home of Brownswood, Co. Wexford in 1878, Eileen Gray settled in Paris in 1906. Informally educated and largely self-taught, she emerged in the 1910s and 1920s as a lacquerwork, furniture and carpet designer of note. Her first venture into architecture was her design for her decorating shop Jean Desert which she opened in Paris in 1922. In all, forty-five of her architectural projects are recorded, of which nine were executed. Her most famous building, E.1027, – the holiday home she designed at Roquebrune/Cap-Martin for Jean Badovici – was a favourite haunt of Le Corbusier. Her final project, Lou Pérou, a house near St. Tropez, was completed in 1961.
These models of Eileen Gray’s works were made in 1993-94 for Professor Caroline Constant, author and expert on the work of Eileen Gray, by students at the University of Florida and Harvard University. They have featured in a number of exhibitions on Gray’s work in Harvard, New York, Frankfurt and, most recently, London, and have appeared in a number of publications devoted to Gray and her work. They are currently on display in the Irish Architectural Archive, No. 45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.