Eileen Gray was born in 1878 in Enniscorthy, Ireland. She was amongst the first women to study painting in Slade School of Fine Art before undergoing an apprenticeship in a lacquer workshop. She moved to Paris in 1902 where she quickly established herself as one of the leading designers of lacquered screens and decorative panels.
During the 20s and 30s she became one of the leading exponents of the revolutionary new theories of design and construction and worked closely with many of the outstanding figures of the modern movement, including Le Corbusier and JJP Oud. She experimented with chrome, steel tube and glass furniture in 1925 - the same year as Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer. Encouraged by Le Corbusier and JJP Oud, she designed two houses in the Alpes Maritimes, one at Roquebrune (built 1927-29), the other at Castellar (built 1932-34).
After the war and up to her death, she continued to work as a designer, on both major projects like the cultural and social centre and on a number of smaller furniture designs. In 1973 Eileen Gray signed a Worldwide contract with Aram Designs, London, to bring her designs into production for the first time. The Museum of Modern Art added her legendary Adjustable Table E 1027 to its permanent design collection in 1978.