It’s been a while since we did a Bookmarks blog – we have a trio of textile design books to review – the first being Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern Design: Wiener Werkstatte to American Modern.
We did a very short taster blog post about Jacqueline Groag last year but we’re going to delve a bit deeper here and share many more examples of her fabulous work.
Many of the plates in the book are taken from the vast collection (over 300 examples of post-war British design) of Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown III who are customers of authors, Rayner & Chamberlain’s Target Gallery. As well as Groag they have extensive examples of the work of Robin & Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler, Evelyn & Jerome Ackerman and other post-war, mid century modern artists & designers.
The collection formed part of the exhibition Designing Women of Postwar Britain which toured the Fashion and Textile Museum London; Michigan State University; Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs and Textile Museum in Washington.
Groag was a very versatile and prolific designer; her textile designs included dress fabrics, upholstery material and carpet. She designed on paper – wrapping paper, wallpaper, magazines and even playing cards; and from the 1950s, her designs were used in plastic laminates for use in furniture such as tabletops and cabinets.
She’s been associated with may big companies and organisations. If you’ve ever taken public transport in the UK you’ll probably have seen her work. She designed for BOAC, London Transport and British Rail…
…her designs were retailed by the likes of Liberty, John Lewis, David Whitehead Ltd…
…they were published within and on the covers of magazines such as The Ambassador and Interiors Magazine…
…and she was commissioned by greetings card companies such as Oxfam, Hallmark and American Greetings.
Much of her work is very distinctive with many of her designs encompassing fine-lined grid patterns and simple, stylised human forms.
Her designs were inspired by colour and nature and also by Austrian folk art dolls the latter’s whose influence appears frequently in her work over the years.
If we’ve sparked your interest there are a few more examples to be found in the V&A’s Jacqueline Groag archive.
And if you happen to be in the vicinity, there’s currently an exhibition of her work taking place in Denver from 19 May to 22 Sept ’13.
As well as the publishers, the book is available online from Hive and Amazon.
[Many thanks to Antique Collectors' Club for the review copy]