Here’s the find of the week, sure to make lover of mid- century design very happy. I picked this up in an antique store this week, being attracted to artistic look of it. It did, in fact, remind me of a Fernand Leger print that was used in the Modern Masters line of fabrics in 1955. These fabrics were used by fashion designers such as Claire McCardell. There is a dress of hers made from Leger fabric in the FIT collection.
But as it turns out, this fabric is not from the Modern Masters series; it is from a line made esclusively for JC Penney. When I got the fabric home, I took out a line of stitching which concealed the selvedge. Printed in the selvedge is “Masterpiece Prints C 1953 Original Artist’s Design “The Boat Races”"
Some masterful research from a vintage friend uncovered some 1953 and 54 ads from JC Penney. These ads tell much of the story:
“A New Fabric, Masterpiece Prints. Exclusive with Penney’s are these better quality cottons in breathtaking exclusive patterns. Original artists designs created for Penney’s by famous American artists.”
And in another ad there is an illustration of my fabric. Unfortunately, there is no indication of who the “famous American artist” might be, either in the ads or on the fabric itself. I’d appreciate any additional information about these prints. Anyone out there with a 1953 or 54 Penney’s catalog? I’d sure love to know if these were pictured in their big book!
Posted by Anonymous:
This fabric is wonderful even if isn’t printed/documented anywhere. An ode to the masters. It’s a beauty!
Posted by Holly @ Lucitebox:
I’m going to be thinking about this for some time to come. So fabulous!