The art of textile design and the role of women radically changed after the Second World War and three female artists working in England in the 1950s were pivotal in this artistic revolution. Designing Women, at the Fashion and Textile Museum, explores these women’s pioneering role in combining art and manufacturing to change the direction of the modern design industry.
The drab days of the War were transformed by the fresh, progressive designs of Lucienne Day (1917–2010), Jacqueline Groag (1903–1986) and Marian Mahler (1911–1983). The exhibition features more than 100 works. Original artist designs with bold abstract pattern, as well as the use of saturated colour, marked a dramatic departure from conventional furnishing fabrics. This new wave of bold textile designs, helped to bring the influences of the art world, in its most recent, refreshing, and largely abstract forms, into the contemporary home. These styles were being mirrored across the board of design with stores like Habitat opening their doors to the new and hungry middle class.
Dennis Nothdruft, Curator of the exhibition commented, ‘The mid-century textiles collection of Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown is one of the most comprehensive in the world. This exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to see these works and compare key developments in pattern, colour and form from this period.”
16 March – 16 June 2012
Fashion and Textile Museum
83 Bermondsey Street London,