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Not currently on display at the V&A

Woman and Birds

Furnishing Fabric
1956 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This printed cotton was one of a series of dress and furnishing textiles launched by Fuller Fabrics of the USA in the mid 1950s. The firm commissioned renowned artists such as Picasso, Miro, Chagall, and Leger to make designs for their Modern Master Prints and worked closely with each artist on the choice of designs for reproduction, the final design, and the colourways, so that the end result reflected the artist's palette and technique. The quality of the printing was exceedingly high. A film documented the project, and it received much publicity, via an exhibition opened at Brooklyn Museum in Autumn 1955, and a five-page article in Life magazine illustrated with photos taken in the artists's studios.

In 1956 Fuller's Decorama Division introduced the series for home furnishings.They were directed at a more exclusive market than the dress textiles and were available only through decorators. The Spanish surrealist artist, Joan Miro (1893-1983) provided several designs, including Woman and Birds.

These textile collections were significant for American design at the time because of the collaboration of textile manufacturers, museums, commercial art galleries and artists in an attempt to raise the standard of American textile design and widen the market for contemporary art. Similar initiatives took place in Australia, Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands in the 1940s and 1950s.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Screen-printed cotton
Brief Description
Furnishing fabric 'Woman and Birds' of screen-printed cotton, designed by Joan Miro for Fuller Fabrics, New York, 1956
Physical Description
Furnising fabric of screen-printed cotton in black, red, yellow and blue on a white background. The pattern includes a busy abstract design.
Dimensions
  • Width: 3.75ft
  • Length: 3ft
  • Width: 45in
  • Length: 36in
Style
Production typeLimited edition
Credit line
Given by Fuller Fabrics
Historical context
Fuller Fabrics launched Modern Master Prints in 1955, commissioning renowned artists Picasso, Miro, Chagall, Leger and Dufy (through his widow) - 60 patterns in total. Dan Fuller worked with each artists on the choice of designs for reproduction, the final design, and the colourways. The final patter preserved the artist's palette and technique, a sign of the high quality of hte printing (developed over a year). Picasso was first artists approached and he introduced the other artists. A film documented the project, and an exhibition opened at Brooklyn Museum in Autumn 1955; a five-page article in Life magazine was illustrated by Mark Shaw who took photos in the artists's studios. The fabrics were used commercially by Tina Leser, Molly Parnis, Adele Simpson, Ceil Chapman and Claire McCardell. Fabrics were sold to manufacturers of resort wear and early spring fashions, and then yard goods for home-dressmaker launched initially by McCall's pattern books. In 1956 Fuller's Decorama Division introudced the series for home furnishings, including new designs by Picalsso and Chagall, which were included in the Museum of Modern Art's exhbition Textiles USA. they were directed at a more exclusive market and were available only through decorators. Miro's Woman and Birds reworked a painting of the same name from 1940 in his series The Constellation; his Femme Ecoutant changed the layout of motifs from Femme entendant la musique of 1945. Other Miro designs were faithful copies of lithographs from 1953. These textile collections reveal a fascinating moment in American design history when textile manufacturers, museums, commercial art galleries and artists combined efforts to raise the standard of American textile design and, at the same time, widen the market for contemporary art. (Based heavily on Blum, 2007)
Production
Attribution note: Sold only through decorators.
Summary
This printed cotton was one of a series of dress and furnishing textiles launched by Fuller Fabrics of the USA in the mid 1950s. The firm commissioned renowned artists such as Picasso, Miro, Chagall, and Leger to make designs for their Modern Master Prints and worked closely with each artist on the choice of designs for reproduction, the final design, and the colourways, so that the end result reflected the artist's palette and technique. The quality of the printing was exceedingly high. A film documented the project, and it received much publicity, via an exhibition opened at Brooklyn Museum in Autumn 1955, and a five-page article in Life magazine illustrated with photos taken in the artists's studios.



In 1956 Fuller's Decorama Division introduced the series for home furnishings.They were directed at a more exclusive market than the dress textiles and were available only through decorators. The Spanish surrealist artist, Joan Miro (1893-1983) provided several designs, including Woman and Birds.



These textile collections were significant for American design at the time because of the collaboration of textile manufacturers, museums, commercial art galleries and artists in an attempt to raise the standard of American textile design and widen the market for contemporary art. Similar initiatives took place in Australia, Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands in the 1940s and 1950s.
Bibliographic Reference
Blum, Dilys, 'Post-war American Textiles' in Surreal Things, ed. G. Wood. London: V&A Publishing, 2007, p. 245.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.455-1956

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record createdApril 3, 2007
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