These tiny pieces of mid 20th century textile design could be used as coasters or just enjoyed for the beautifully realised collaboration between artist/designer and manufacturer. Piper designed Stones of Bath for Arthur Sanderson and Sons Ltd in 1959. The design was screen printed onto cotton using nineteen colours. A best-seller, it was reprinted several times during the early 1960s in different colourways.
Here are some reclaimed segments from a piece of fabric that probably dates to around 1962 and was most likely used to make curtains. Backed by 100% wool felt, each coaster measures approximately 10 x 10 cm. They are available to buy on my Etsy shop and cost £15 for a set of 3.
And here you can see Piper’s design in its entirety as a repeat pattern.
Vera Molnar Structure de Quadrilatères (Square Structures), 1985 ink on paper 30 x 42 cm
Vera Molnar, regarded as a pioneer in computer art was born in Budapest in 1924. She relocated to Paris in the 1940s and became a founding member of the Research Group for Visual Art (GRAV) in 1960. Her work as an artist encompasses painting, drawing and collage, computer drawings, photography, and installation. Aged 94, Molnar continues to practice.
The exhibition Vera Molnar: Drawings 1949-1986 is currently showing at the Senior and Shopmaker Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. I’d so much like to see this, and to visit NYC again.
Out of necessity, there’s always a budget restriction when I’m collecting. But I think it would make for a very dull chase if all you had to do was search on the net and buy the thing you’re looking for at any price. So my budget dictates £5 maximum per album cover and shipping must be pretty cheap, which means sourcing from the UK.
Albers designed seven album covers for the US label Command Records between 1959 and 1961. Command Records’ album cover designs stood out from the crowd not only because of their ‘highly modern, boldly graphic, abstract’* designs. In addition, the label’s founder Enoch Light liked to provide extensive information about the music on his albums, necessitating additional print space on the covers and thereby giving birth to the gatefold sleeve.
The Donald Brothers textiles company operated in Dundee between 1864 and 1983. Growing out of the jute industry, the operation moved from its manufacture of cloth for sails and sacks into the manufacture of decorative cloth in the late 1890s.
More about the Donald Brothers in future posts but for starters, here’s a design by one of their staff members Marjory Young, later Marjory Moffat.
Marjory Young worked for Donald Brothers as their in-house designer between 1948 and 1953, employed straight from Dundee art college until her marriage. Whilst there, she produced many textile designs for the company’s brand, Old Glamis Fabrics.
Hospitalfield Arts Centre in Arbroath recently ran a study day on artists, designers and craftspeople with an interest in textiles and a connection to the Tayside area.
Present throughout the day was Marjory Young’s daughter Issy Valentine who brought with her a portfolio of her mother’s designs and also a selection of fabric samples produced by Donald Bros. It was a fantastic opportunity to see and touch examples of work that came out of a very interesting and innovative textile company that seems not to be as well known as companies such as Edinburgh Weavers or David Whitehead, for example. The company’s use of highly acclaimed and well known designers such as Marion Dorn, Robert Stewart and Marian Mahler makes their limited visibility in accounts of 20th century textile design a bit puzzling. Perhaps it has something to do with the company’s relatively remote location in North East Scotland, even though Donald Bros had a London office in close proximity to Liberty’s?