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Furnishing fabric - Maud


  • Object:

    Furnishing fabric

  • Place of origin:

    Maromme (made)
    Britain (sold)

  • Date:

    ca. 1913 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bell, Vanessa, born 1879 - died 1961 (designer)
    Besselièvre (manufacturer)
    Omega Workshops (vendors)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed linen

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Roger Fry

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This printed linen fabric is marked ‘Maud’ on the back and was designed by the Omega Workshops in 1913. It was probably called after Lady Maud Cunard, a Bohemian society figure. Printed in Rouen in France, it is an early example of the application of abstract art to a British textile. The bold black lines and blocks of colour are found in a few other Omega designs and anticipate the jazzy Deco fabrics of the twenties and thirties. Roger Fry wore pyjamas of this fabric to a party for the Ballets Russes in 1918, and Duncan Grant used it in a costume for Jacques Copeau's avant-garde production of Twelfth Night in Paris in 1914.

The Omega Workshops were founded by Roger Fry (1866-1934). Together with Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), Duncan Grant (1885-1978) and other artist friends, he designed furniture, ceramics and fabrics between 1913 and 1919. The organisation was an artistic rather than a business venture.

Physical description

Printed linen furnishing fabric with an abstract design of rectangular and triangular orange, light green and dark blue shapes with black stripes, the triangular shapes have a rough serrated edge.

Place of Origin

Maromme (made)
Britain (sold)


ca. 1913 (made)


Bell, Vanessa, born 1879 - died 1961 (designer)
Besselièvre (manufacturer)
Omega Workshops (vendors)

Materials and Techniques

Printed linen

Marks and inscriptions

On the front 5

On the back in large letters: Maud 5


Height: 73 cm, Width: 49.4 cm

Object history note

(MA/1/F1493, 13/5540 M) A.F.Kendrick minute to director on 4 Dec 1913 notes gift of seven pieces of modern printed fabrics to Museum: 'Seven specimens of "post-impressionism" as applied to the printing of linen fabrics were lent by Mr Fry to Mr Lindsay to show at his evening lectures here. I asked if he would give them (as they may become great curiosities in the future) and he consents. If you agree to their acceptance I will put the usual procedure into practice.' Applied to T.386-T.390-1913.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Beyond Bloomsbury. Designs of the Omega Workshops 1913-19, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 2009, p. 116, cat. 34A.

Production Note

The names given to Omega textiles were supposedly given by the German ambassador's wife, Princess Lichnowsky. 'Maud' was named after Lady Cunard.

Attribution note: The price per yard varied from 2/9d to 4/-






Textiles; Interiors


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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