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Textile, USA, 1949, designed by George Nelson (American, 1907–1986), manufactured by Schiffer Prints (a division of Mil-Arts Co.), founded 1945, Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 2015-19-3
Revitalizing An Industry
In the aftermath of World War II, a number of textile producers attempted to revitalize the industry by enlisting recognized personalities in art and architecture to design screen prints. “Perhaps the most outstanding name collection is Stimulus Fabrics produced by Schiffer Prints,” Alvin Lustig wrote in American Fabrics Magazine in 1951. “There was not a...
Study sample for "Houses on a Street," USA, 1939, tapestry woven cotton (double interlocked with extended dovetailing for shading), Gift of Lydia Van Gelder, 1996-47-2.
Lydia’s Houses
This textile study sample was woven by Lydia van Gelder in preparation for a larger wall hanging, “Houses on a Street” that she created for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. Serving as a diminutive sample for the larger piece, it is tapestry woven – double interlocked with extended dovetailing for shading....
Hanging, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 1958, designed and woven by Maria Kipp (American, b. Germany, 1900–1988), hand woven viscose rayon, wool and cotton plain weave, 1959-67-5.
Emerald City
This wall hanging, designed and woven by Maria Kipp, brings to mind an abstracted Los Angeles landscape. Hazy with mauve and pink smog, the horizon glitters with gold metallic strips of weft, reminiscent of the sun peeking from between the clouds. Its soft palette, hints of structural dimensionality and use of abstracted forms are typical...
1969-- Matt Flynn 035
Steinberg’s Flowers
This sidewall was designed by Saul Steinberg (1914-1999), a Romanian/American artist much loved for the dozens of covers and twelve hundred cartoons he drew for The New Yorker. Here, his characteristic ink-work has been expertly copied by the screen printing processes of Piazza Prints, who manufactured this paper c. 1950-1955. Against a white ground, widely-spaced...
Two white, stylized female figures and one black, stylized male figure on purple ground, with horizontally printed black and white sans-serif text
A Teetering Trio in a Pastel Void
Alvin Lustig designed numerous book covers for New Directions Publishing over the course of his prolific career, including several for Tennessee Williams’s plays. Lustig’s modernist designs, characterized by their dramatic simplicity, contrast with the voluptuous poetry and unapologetic melodrama of Williams’s writing. For this cover for A Streetcar Named Desire, Lustig choreographed a three-way dance...
1951-2- Matt Flynn 020
Flower Power
This spring is extra-special at the Cooper Hewitt because the garden is completely renovated and once again open to anyone who needs a nice place to sit on a sunny afternoon. In anticipation of fun times and fair weather, we wanted to feature this vibrant floral wallpaper that presents its own take on 1960s “flower power.”...
Hanging, 1955–1975, California, USA, silk and synthetic metallic double cloth, Gift of Mr. Eric and Mrs. Sylvia Elsesser, The Trude Guermonprez Archives, 1993-121-25
Layered and Textured Grid
Trude Guermonprez was a much-admired weaver and professor of textile arts at California College of Art. She was trained at the School of Fine and Applied Arts in Halle, Germany, sometimes called the “little Bauhaus,” as many of its faculty had studied or taught there. After World War II, she made her way to California...
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Color, Mood and Rhythm
In the mid-twentieth century, German wallpaper company Rasch marketed wallpapers designed by noted contemporary artists to the American public. The product line was called the “International Artists Collection,” and appealed to consumers who wanted their homes and offices to reflect cutting edge of contemporary art. Explaining the creative motivation behind this partnership of artist and...
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An Abstract by Kupferoth
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Cooper Hewitt is dedicating select Object of the Day entries to the work of women designers in our collection. This sidewall was designed by Elsbeth Kupferoth, one of the most prolific pattern designers of post-war Germany. Kupferoth got her start as a student at the Berlin Textile und Modeschüle....