Monday, September 29, 2014

Modern Print Monday: Marcel Vertès

Sketch for a print from the collection of the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I've been discussing the modernistic idea of
the brushstroke for its own sake. Few textile designers worked in
more painterly fashion than Marcel Vertès.

Marcel Vertès (1895–1961),
photo by Carl Van Vechten,
Marquette University Archive

Restored Vertès murals in the Carlyle Cafe
in New York City

Vertès, born in Hungary, was one of many expatriate
Parisians during World War I and into the mid-20th-century.

Inspired by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
he drew and painted the nightlife of the city.

Vertès's illustrations became the image
of Elsa Schiaparelli's perfumes.

Vertès spent about a decade in the U.S. 
during and after the second World War, adapting 
his style to high-fashion fabric.

Claudette Colbert in a Vertès print, about

Vertès, Vegetable Girl,
a scarf for Wesley Simpson

Wesley Simpson ad for Vertès scarves.
Note how the scarf was worn.

Vertès designs were a hit at the recent London
exhibit Artist Textiles Picasso to Warhol at
the Fashion and Textile Museum.

Vogue fashion illustration, set by Vertès.

He won academy awards for art direction
and costumes for the 1952 film Moulin Rouge,
a biography of Toulouse-Lautrec.

See more Vertès designs at the Metropolitan Museum of
Art's website:

Read about the restoration of the Hotel Carlyle murals here:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Principles of Modernism: Freeing the Brushstroke

Claude Monet, Detail of Water Lilies with Clouds, 1903
Collection of Musee de L'Orangerie

Monet's Water Lily series is an example of modernism
examining the traditional artists' tools
in new ways.

Rafael, detail of Our Lady of the Rosary, 1504

Painters apply color with a brush using individual strokes
to create the illusions of three-dimensionality, texture and
form. Rafael's brushstrokes are evident in this detail from
a Madonna and child painting. 

Modernism gave the brushstroke more prominence.
Claude Monet's brush strokes are as important as the image illusion,

as are Vincent Van Gogh's.

and Pablo Picasso's,
(detail of a foot from Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art)

Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke Still Life with Lamp

Lichtenstein carried the glorification of the brushstroke
to extremes in his 1960s "Brushstroke" series.

All of which partially explain this modern style of
textile, exemplified by the trend-setting firm of  Britain's David Whitehead. Ltd.
in the 1950s,

Jane Daniels for David Whitehead, Ltd.

Bark cloth prints

style evident in the drapes, dress prints ,etc.
from the 1940s on (see Monday's Dorothy Draper plaid)

...trickling down to a category of feedsack

Lichtenstein's irony has nothing on this tulip and brushstroke feedsack.

Smart combination of brushstroke and woven

Here's a brushstroke print with classical columns next to a Davy Crockett
print in a quilt from the 1950s

And a new look in a brushstroke print:
Tritex Brushtroke print in Picasso Pink

Monday, September 22, 2014

Modern Print Monday: Dorothy Draper

I found this printed plaid in my stash of fifties fabrics.
It's a printed plaid signed Dorothy Draper for Schumacher's.
The piece is Tropical Plaid in a lime green colorway and the 
B next to her name begins the word Brazilliance.

Here's a period ad. You were to use it with shocking
pink bedspreads.

It's quite large in scale. Wish I had more than a 1/4 yard.

Dorothy Tuckerman Draper (1889-1969)

Draper was from a wealthy family in Tuxedo Park, New York. That breeding and good taste
were the basis for an impressive design career

with a distinctive mid-20th-century look. Draper
was a transition between Elsie DeWolfe and
Tony Duquette.

The Palm Leaf from the "Brazilliance" line
has been reprinted.

Draper gave decorating advice at Good Housekeeping
magazine. She collected her ideas
on style and doing-it-yourself in her popular
book Decorating is Fun!

It looks like she had a lot of fun mixing
color, pattern and oversize line with
classical curves in her decor for the Greenbriar
Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

A signature touch was her use of rococo plaster

Fairmont Hotel Lobby, San Francisco,
in its Dorothy Draper incarnation

Cast aluminum chair for the Fairmont's
restaurant by Dorothy Draper

She typified modern

Wicker Wonderland print

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Line for Line's Sake: Modern Quilts

Run and Fall
Here's one of the great quilts of
the 21st century by Denyse Schmidt

Line and color----
but line dominates in these modern quilts.

Elements 11 by Robin Ferrier
Although sometimes there is some real competition from color.

Jennifer Overstreet
Just line; no color.

Joe Cunningham, Sailor's Delight

Modern Asymmetry from Pine Needle Quilt Shop

Organic Log Cabin
Latifah Saafir

Ann Stamm Merrill

Sandi Klop for
American Jane

Brown Bag Quilt by Fiberchick

Paved Paradise by Dustin Cecil

Double Wedding Ring by Mike McNamara

Orange Peel Tile Quilt
by Bobbi Finley

Beanstalk by Tula Pink