Ad Campaign – Vera for Schumacher, 1954

How different can decorative fabrics really be?  Those who know Schumacher’s know the answer.  A stellar example is “Swiss Guards” by Vera, a painted silk antique gauze that sparkles with color and design ingenuity.   In gold, silver, blue, lilac haze, white, squirrel brown… each with its own complementary wallpaper.

We remember Vera Neumann mainly for her scarves, but her original endeavor was silk printing placemats and linen napkins.  About the time she printed her first scarf, she entered into what was the first of her licensing agreements.  In 1947 F. Schumacher & Co., which specialized in home decorator fabrics, supplied  Vera’s print company, Printex, with 10,000 yards of fabric.  Vera designed the fabric which was printed by Printex and marketed by Schumacher.

The collaboration was a huge success and continued for ten years.  When the Trumans redecorated the White House in 1952, the solarium on the third floor was outfitted with one of Vera’s designs for Schumacher.   It was all thrown out by Jackie Kennedy when she turned the room into a classroom and playroom for Caroline in 1961.

UPDATE:  Vera also designed fabric for Schumacher in the 1970s.  Thanks to Pam at Glamoursurf for bringing this to my attention.

6 Comments

Filed under Ad Campaign, Designers

6 responses to “Ad Campaign – Vera for Schumacher, 1954

  1. Fascinating. However, I find it odd that the ad isn’t in color. I would like to know just what “squirrel brown” (or “lilac haze”) is. But I guess they thought the power of the name would draw people in.

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    • Christina

      This is probably a question for the print industry experts and Mad Men but from what I understand, by the mid 1950’s the printing reproduction process for newspapers and magazines was changing and the stability of colour was improving. Accurate or true colour was often hard to reproduce in print advertising. Maybe keeping this ad black and white reflected a decision from the client. Better in black and white than inaccurate representation.

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  2. And I imagine that the ad in black and white was a lot cheaper than it would have been in color.

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  3. This are fabulous! I love a good harlequin print! And I didn’t know Vera did curtains!

    Oh my! I wonder what happened to those White House curtains!

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  4. Pingback: Updates – The Rest of the Story | The Vintage Traveler

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