Clayton Knight

An Anonymous, Yet Patriotic Textile Design


The designer and manufacturer of this textile are unknown, but the subject is telling of the cultural climate that produced it. If I didn’t know its approximate date, I might have guessed it was designed in the 1930s.
Manhattan, Art Deco, New Deal, WPA murals, The Great Depression, Paris Exposition, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Clayton Knight, Ruth Reeves, American, Patriotic, 1930s

Silk and the City


The cityscape is a natural subject for textile design—grid-based, repetitive and boldly geometric-- well, at least Manhattan after the skyscraper boom of the 1920s and 30s. The Museum has numerous designs with the city as inspiration, including designs by Philip Johnson, Alexander Girard, Lydia Bush Brown, and Arthur Sanderson & Sons. (If you have a piece of Manhattan by Ruth Reeves you’d like to donate, we’d love to hear from you!)
Clayton Knight, cityscapes, Manhattan, Stehli Silks, Kneeland Green, Edward Steichen, Helen Wallis, jazz, illustration