Eileen Gray ( August 9, 1878 – October 31, 1976) was an Irish lacquer artist, furniture designer and architect now well-known for incorporating luxurious lacquer work into the stark International Style aesthetic. She first studied painting at London's Slade School of Art. She eventually left painting to study lacquer under the guidance of lacquer craftsman, Sugawara. In 1913, she held her first exhibition, showing some decorative panels at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. She combined lacquer and rare woods, geometric abstraction and Japanese-inspired motifs into her work. It attracted the attention of Jacques Doucet, an art connoisseur and collector. He commissioned a few pieces – her only signed and dated creations. Her work went mostly unnoticed. In London after the start of World War I, Gray needed to rely on her family's financial support. Near the end of the war, Gray was commissioned to decorate an apartment on Rue de Lota in Paris. Her interior designs generated a great deal of praise in the press. She opened the Jean Desert Gallery in 1922.