Eyre de Lanux
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Eyre de Lanux, born Elizabeth Eyre, (March 20, 1894 – September 8, 1996), was an American artist, writer, and art deco designer who created lacquered furniture and geometric patterned rugs in Paris during the 1920s. She was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and studied art at the Art Students League in Manhattan.
In 1918, de Lanux met and married Pierre de Lanux, a French writer and diplomat, who was in America on a visit, and the two would later have one daughter, Anne. World War I had just ended when the two married, and they immediately moved to Paris. They moved in the literary circles of André Gide, Ernest Hemingway, and Bernard Berenson. Though married, de Lanux was bisexual.
She is best known as having been one of the many long-term lesbian lovers of writer and artist Natalie Barney. The two met through common friends, at Barney's popular Paris Salon and became an on-again-off-again couple for many years.
Due in part to Jean Chalon's early biography of Barney, published in English as Portrait of a Seductress, she has become more widely known for her many relationships than for her writing or her salon. She once wrote out a list, divided into three categories: liaisons, demi-liaisons, and adventures.
Colette,a French novelist and performer, was a demi-liaison, while the artist and furniture designer Eyre de Lanux, with whom she had an off-and-on affair for several years, was listed as an adventure. While Barney certainly took other lovers while she and de Lanux were involved romantically, it is unknown as to whether de Lanux did the same. What is known is that even after the affair ended, the two remained close friends.
Her designs first came into notice during the early 1920s, and were often exhibited with those of designers Eileen Gray and Jean-Michel Frank. While still in France, she wrote short stories of her European travels. In 1955, her husband died. Shortly afterward, she returned to the U.S., and in the 1960s she wrote for Harper's Bazaar.
In her later years she wrote and illustrated a number of children's books. She died at the age of 102, at the Dewitt Nursing Home in Manhattan.
- de Lanux
- Eyre de Lanux obituary in The New York Times
- Elizabeth Eyre de Lanux Papers at the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art