Britain's Mid-Century Female Designers
Of the iconic women designers working in the mid-20th century, the two most often recognized—and adored—are Ray Eames and Lucienne Day (the female halves of two of the best-known creative couples of the era). While Eames won our hearts with her inventive furniture designs, Day brought modernism to the masses via her woven textile designs. On Saturday, May 15, the Textile Museum in Washington, DC, opens a new exhibit featuring the work of Day and two other mid-century British designers—Marian Mahler and Jacqueline Groad—titled Art by the Yard: Women Design Mid-Century Britain. The show is on display through September 12 and here we present a slideshow of 20 textiles from the exhibition.
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The art of textile design changed radically after World War II as Britain was transformed from a country devastated by war into an optimistic consumer society. Three women designers were pivotal in this artistic revolution: Lucienne Day (1917- ), Jacqueline Groag (1903-1985) and Marian Mahler (1911-1983). Incorporating dramatic saturated colors and bold motifs inspired by artists like Alexander Calder and Joan Miró, these young designers transformed the market by inspiring elegant yet affordable product lines that brought the world of contemporary art into everyone’s homes.
Art by the Yard: Women Design Mid-Century Britain will showcase the work of these groundbreaking women designers, highlighting the work of Lucienne Day, through the display of textiles together with preliminary drawings and collages, ceramics and period furniture, all drawn from the Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown, III Collection of British Textiles.
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