Art

Altina Schinasi: The Woman Who Saw the World Through Cat-Eye Glasses

Altina Schinasi was a remarkable woman who made significant contributions to the fields of art, film, and fashion. She was born in Manhattan, New York, to immigrant parents in 1907. She showed an early talent for art and design, and she studied at the Art Students League of New York.

In the 1930s, Schinasi began designing eyewear. She was inspired by the Art Deco style of the time, and she created a distinctive frame that became known as the “Harlequin” or “cat-eye” frame. These frames were a huge success, and they became a popular fashion accessory for women in the 1930s and 1940s.

Schinasi was also a talented filmmaker. She directed several short films, including “The Glassblowers” (1937) and “The Painter and the Model” (1940). These films were well-received by critics, and they helped to establish Schinasi as a rising star in the film industry.

In addition to her work in art and film, Schinasi was also an entrepreneur. She founded her own eyewear company, Altina Schinasi Eyewear, in 1943. The company was a success, and it helped to popularize the cat-eye frame.

Schinasi continued to work and create throughout her life. She died in 2000 at the age of 93. She is remembered as a talented artist, filmmaker, and entrepreneur who made significant contributions to the fields of art, film, and fashion.

Here are some of the things that make Altina Schinasi special:

  • She was a pioneer in the field of eyewear design. Her Harlequin frames were a huge success and helped to popularize the cat-eye frame.
  • She was a talented filmmaker. Her short films were well-received by critics, and she helped to establish herself as a rising star in the film industry.
  • She was an entrepreneur. She founded her own eyewear company, Altina Schinasi Eyewear, which was a success.
  • She was a multi-talented woman who made significant contributions to the fields of art, film, and fashion.

Altina Schinasi was also a pioneer in the field of eyewear design, and her Harlequin frames helped to popularize the cat-eye frame.

One of Schinasi’s lesser known facets was her work as a muralist. She created several murals in New York City, including one in the lobby of the Hotel Pierre. These murals were not only beautiful, but they also reflected Schinasi’s commitment to social justice. For example, one mural depicted a group of workers protesting for better working conditions.

Another lesser known facet of Schinasi’s life was her involvement in the Yiddish theater. She designed sets and costumes for several Yiddish plays, and she also acted in a few productions. Schinasi’s work in the Yiddish theater helped to preserve and promote Yiddish culture.

Schinasi’s contributions to the fields of art, film, and fashion were significant. She was a pioneer in the field of eyewear design, and her Harlequin frames helped to popularize the cat-eye frame. She was also a talented filmmaker, and her short films were well-received by critics. In addition, Schinasi was a successful entrepreneur, and she founded her own eyewear company, Altina Schinasi Eyewear.

Schinasi was a truly remarkable woman who left a lasting legacy. She was a talented artist, a gifted filmmaker, a successful entrepreneur, and a pioneer in the field of eyewear design. She was also a committed social justice advocate and a preservationist of Yiddish culture.

Here is a more detailed description of Schinasi’s contribution to the field of eyewear design:

Schinasi’s Harlequin frames were inspired by the Art Deco style of the time. They were characterized by their large, angular frames and their distinctive cat-eye shape. The frames were a huge success, and they became a popular fashion accessory for women in the 1930s and 1940s. Schinasi’s Harlequin frames helped to popularize the cat-eye frame, which is still a popular style today.

Schinasi’s eyewear designs were not only fashionable, but they were also functional. She designed her frames to be comfortable and to protect the eyes from the sun. Her frames were also made of high-quality materials, which ensured that they would last.

Schinasi’s contribution to the field of eyewear design was significant. She helped to create a new style of eyewear that was both fashionable and functional. Her designs are still popular today, and they continue to inspire eyewear designers around the world.