Monday, April 28, 2014

Modern Print Monday: Elza Sunderland

"Persian" in three colorways by Elza Sunderland.
Placemat design from the Los Angeles 
County Museum of Art collection.

1947 ad

Elza Willheim Sunderland (1903-1991) was a mid-century California
designer who produced "Elza of Hollywood" fabrics for home sewing and manufactured


Ad for shelf paper designed by Elza of Hollywood

Born in Hungary, Elza Willheim came to the United States when she was a child. She attended school in New York and came to define "Color-fornia" with her pattern design for the new textiles of the 1940s and '50s,

such as printed terrycloth and new synthetics for bathing suits.

Sunderland's extensive archives, primarily croqui (gouache watercolor paintings) for designs, are in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art:

An article about her in the L.A. Times in 1986:

1 comment:

  1. Not sure if you got my original comment. My dad, Joseph Hermes was Elza's colorist and assistant in her Malibu studio here in Los Angeles in the 50's. My parents carried on a long relationship with Elza and Dan for many years. I had no idea shelf liners had used Elza's designs. I learned something tonight!