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Google Doodle marks 116th birthday of sculptor, filmmaker Altina Schinasi

Friday's Google Doodle honors Altina Schinasi, who came up with the idea for the Harlequin-shaped glasses when there were only a few unflattering options available for women. Image courtesy of Google
Friday's Google Doodle honors Altina Schinasi, who came up with the idea for the Harlequin-shaped glasses when there were only a few unflattering options available for women. Image courtesy of Google

Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Friday's Google Doodle marks the 116th birthday of sculptor, documentary filmmaker and inventor Altina Schinasi, who died in 1999 at age 92.

The artwork depicts a pair of orange, cat's eye-framed glasses with a "G" and sketch of Schinasi sporting eyewear she designed inside one of the lenses and the letters "GLE" in the other.

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"Happy Birthday, Tina! Thank you for your courage, kindness and inspiration. Much love, always," her son Terry Sanders and the rest of their family said in a message posted on the Google website.

The native New Yorker studied art in Paris and started her career as a window dresser for the posh stores that lined Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

She came up with the idea for the Harlequin-shaped glasses when there were only a few unflattering options available for women.

Although most manufacturers refused to take a chance on her design, one shopkeeper saw its potential and nabbed the exclusive rights to the glasses for six months.

"By the late 1930s and through the 1940s, Harlequin glasses became an overwhelming fashion accessory among women in the U.S.," Google noted.

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"Schinasi was awarded the Lord & Taylor American Design Award in 1939 for her invention and was recognized by major magazines, including Vogue and Life."

She also produced the 1960 documentary George Grosz' Interregnum, which was nominated for an Academy Award and was honored at the Venice Film Festival, and penned her memoir, The Road I Have Traveled, in 1995.

Schinasi was the subject of the 2014 documentary Altina.

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