Eileen Gray was born in 1878, the youngest of five children in a wealthy Scottish-Irish family. She spent her childhood divided between her family’s homes near the Irish market town of Enniscorthy, County Wexford, and in London’s South Kensington. An amateur artist himself, Gray’s father encouraged his daughter’s creative talent by taking her with him on painting tours of Italy and Switzerland, as well as allowing her to study painting at the Slade School of Art in London. Following her father’s death in 1900, Eileen Gray moved to Paris with friends and continued her education. Gray remained powerfully independent during her career, at a time when her contemporaries, who were almost all male, mostly regarded themselves as members of one movement or another. As a woman, she did not benefit from the supportive networks to which her fellow leading designers had access, and she did not have the advantage of working with a male mentor. Eileen Gray’s design style remained as distinctive as her way of working, with her opulent take on geometric forms and industrially produced materials, used by other International Style designers, like Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe.