In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15, 2019), this week’s Object Of The Day posts celebrate Latinx designers’ works in the collection.
The Casa Hermosa collection is the first-ever collection of wallcoverings and coordinated fabrics devoted entirely to authentic Mexican designs. These patterns combine the creative talents of artist Nancy Glenn-Nieto and textile/ wallpaper designer Marcie Vesel Bronkar. Nieto, an American-born painter of Mexican descent, draws on her Mexican heritage to create interpretations of Aztec images that show the forces of nature. She uses the legends, artifacts, artisans, and the fruits and flowers that create the cultural mystique of Mexico to inspire her colors and patterns. In her paintings, her major themes are mystical animals, colorful flowers, and powerful saints, and elements of these themes appear on the wallpapers. Nancy married Mexican painter Rodolfo Nieto and together they traveled around Mexico studying pre-Columbian art and architecture, seeking inspiration. The beautiful flow of the designs and the seamless nature of the repeats show the artistic skill of pattern designer Bronkar.
The patterns are a mix of florals, stripes, symbols, and tile patterns, and are printed in colors that range from subtle to bold. Several of the patterns are available with matching borders. Two of the patterns contain symbols and simple line drawings that appear like ancient cave paintings, being printed on mottled grounds to enhance this effect. Another pattern contains several different colorful motifs in the form of plumes, serpents, rain drops, and scrolls, a possible reference to Quetzalcoati, the plumed serpent, and Tlaloc, the rain god. There are a wallpaper and border pattern of calla lilies, said to be a favorite of Mexican painter Diego Rivera. Other designs capture the native fruits and flowers in all their vibrant hues. The collection offered consumers the option of decorating with distinctive Mexican flair.
Greg Herringshaw is the Assistant Curator of Wallcoverings.