Currently Reading – Artists’ Textiles 1940 – 1976

I’ve mentioned this book,  Artists’ Textiles 1940 – 1976by Geiff Rayner, Richard Chamberlain and Annamarie Phelps, several times and then I realized that I’ve neglected to review it.   I had seen the book advertised before it was released, but put it in the back of my mind, partly because the book was published in Britain.  Now I have nothing against British books, but my interests are chiefly American purely because this is where I am, and the things I find are usually of American manufacture.

But I got it on good authority that the book covered both British and American textiles, and so I ordered it.  And I’m glad I did.  The book is beautifully illustrated and well researched.  And while it did not answer all the questions I have about some of the art fabric productions, the authors did work to try and piece together the stories behind the fabrics.

Even though the bulk of the book features textiles from 1940 through 1976, there is an excellent introduction that gives the background of art textiles of the 20th century.   This 1914 robe was designed by artist Wyndham Lewis.

Two Salvador Dali scarves, manufactured by Wesley Simpson in 1947.

A 1950s North African or Arabian border print by Saul Steinberg, who was best known for his covers and cartoons for The New Yorker.   The book has some valuable information on the series of travel novelty border prints Steinberg produced with  “A Regulated Cotton – Never Misbehaves” in the selvage of the fabric.  There are still a lot of unknowns concerning these fabrics, mainly because Steinberg designed these while he was under agreement with another company.

This print by John Rombola is titled Circus.  1956, Patterson Fabrics

Les Maronniers, one of the Raoul Dufy prints that was produced by Fuller Fabrics for the Modern Masters series in 1955.

Here are two prints by Andy Warhol, Happy Bug Day and Happy Butterfly Day, mid to late 1950s.  The dress was featured in Glamour magazine, 1960, and was designed by Robert Sloan.

Also included in the book is a biography section that is quite useful, and a bibliography that serves to make one want to buy more books.


Filed under Currently Reading

10 responses to “Currently Reading – Artists’ Textiles 1940 – 1976

  1. I just bought this book! Can’t wait to receive it!!


  2. ourdailydress

    They used to have such fantastic prints didn’t they? I love the border prints in particular. You didn’t see that cartoon style so mcuh any more.


  3. This looks marvelous! I may just have to order a copy myself! Thanks for sharing!



  4. Holy moly–talk about eye candy! I love that Dufy print. Fabulous!


  5. I’ve had this book sitting in my “cart” at Amazon for some time, wondering if I should make the splurge for it. Now I will – thanks for a great review!


  6. mcooter3

    Many of these textiles are in the current exhibition (till 17 May 2014) at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London – “Artists Textiles: Picasso to Warhol” – about 200 items, marvellous to see!


  7. Pingback: Artist Textiles, Picasso to Warhol (by Margaret Cooter) | Ragged Cloth Cafe, serving Art and Textiles

  8. Pingback: Happy Bug Day, Warhol Print Skirt | The Vintage Traveler

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