“Altina Schansi: The Visionary Inventor and Filmmaker Who Defied Critics”

By | August 4, 2023



Altina Schinasi faced rejection from major manufacturers for her edgy creation, Harlequin glasses, but found success when a local shop owner believed in her craft. The glasses became popular among women in the US in the late 1930s and 1940s, earning Schinasi the Lord & Taylor American Design Award. She also ventured into filmmaking and art therapy, leaving a lasting impact on various artistic mediums. Aditi Shah reported

Moving forward with her plan, all major manufacturers rejected her creation, citing its unconventional nature. Undeterred, she persisted and approached a local shop owner who believed in her artistic vision. The Harlequin glasses quickly gained popularity, garnering significant attention for Schansi.

During the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s, Harlequin glasses became a highly sought-after fashion accessory among women in the United States. Altina’s innovative invention earned her the prestigious Lord & Taylor American Design Award in 1939, and her creation was lauded by renowned magazines such as Life and Vogue.

In addition to her success in eyewear, Altina ventured into the world of filmmaking. In 1960, she produced a documentary titled “George Grosz’s Interregnum,” directed by her former teacher George Grosz. The documentary received an Academy Award nomination and secured the first-place position at the Venice Film Festival.

Altina also made her mark as an author, publishing her memoir “The Road I Have Traveled” in 1995. She dedicated her time as a volunteer art therapist and even invented unique portrait benches and chairs, affectionately known as Chairacters.

By presenting her creation in a more sophisticated and professional manner, Altina was able to overcome initial rejection and achieve widespread recognition and success..