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Eva Zeisel, who brought modernist design into middle-class American homes, dies at 105

Eva Zeisel, 105, a ceramic artist whose elegant, eccentric designs for dinnerware in the 1940s and '50s helped to revolutionize the way Americans set their tables, died on Dec. 30 in New City, N.Y. She helped bring the clean, casual shapes of modernist design into middle-class American homes with furnishings that encouraged a postwar desire for fresh, less formal styles of living.

Gordon Hirabayashi, 93, a sociologist who refused to be sent to internment camps that kept more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans captive during World War II, died on Monday in Edmonton, Alberta. He was vindicated four decades later when a U.S. court in 1987 overturned his conviction and concluded that the U.S. government's internment policies had been based on political expediency, not on any risk to national security.

Jerzy Kluger, 90, a Polish Jew whose lifelong friendship with Pope John Paul II helped the pontiff's efforts to repair Catholic-Jewish relations after centuries of anti-Semitism, died Dec. 31 in Rome of Alzheimer's disease.

Robert L. Carter, 94, a former federal judge who, as a lawyer, was a leading strategist and a persuasive voice in the legal assault on racial segregation in 20th-century America, died of complications of a stroke on Tuesday in New York. In the late 1940s and 1950s, he was a member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., led by Thurgood Marshall.

Ronald Searle, 91, a British cartoonist and caricaturist whose outlandishly witty illustrations for books, magazine covers, newspaper editorial pages and advertisements helped define postwar graphic humor, died on Dec. 30 in Draguignan in southeastern France.

Emmett L. Bennett Jr., 93, a classicist who played a vital role in deciphering Linear B, the Bronze Age Aegean script that defied solution for more than 50 years after it was unearthed on clay tablets in 1900, died on Dec. 15 in Madison, Wis.

Yaffa Yarkoni, 86, an Israeli singer who became famous for entertaining the troops during Israel's wars but later criticized the military and tried to forge a legacy as an advocate for peace, died of pneumonia on Jan. 1 in Tel Aviv.

Eva Zeisel, who brought modernist design into middle-class American homes, dies at 105 01/07/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 7, 2012 6:04pm]
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