Eileen Gray first woman to appear on commemorative coin

National Museum says Gray was ‘one of the most influential 20th century designers’

Eileen Gray, the renowned Irish designer and architect, will become the first woman to be commemorated on an Irish coin.

The Central Bank of Ireland said it would issue the €10 limited edition silver proof collector coin on Wednesday.

The National Museum of Ireland, which hosts a permanent collection of her work at Collins Barracks, describes the late Ms Gray as "one of the most influential 20th century designers"

Wexford-born Gray was particularly respected in France during in the early 20th century as a designer of lacquer furniture and interiors, before turning her attention to architectural forms in the late 1920s. She died in Paris in 1976.


"We are honoured to commemorate Gray's work, achievements and her contribution to modern movements in architecture and design," said Central Bank deputy governor Sharon Donnery.

“Gray was a pre-eminent figure within the Modernist movement and it is very fitting that she was chosen as the first woman to feature on a collector coin.”

The coin was designed by Italian artist Sandra Deiana and features a portrait of Gray in front of an image of one of her most iconic modernist designs "Screen". It is part of the European Silver Coin Programme and features a re-designed obverse incorporating the Irish harp and year-date with the Europa Star symbol.

Limited to 6,000, it is available to the public from today at a cost of €60.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times