What is this?
Strip of printed dress silk with an overall pattern of the word 'it' in various sizes in green on an off-white ground, sometimes overlapping to give blue.
Why is this important?
Americana Prints was the brainchild of Kneeland “Ruzzie” Green, who designed It and a few other text-based patterns for the collection. As Art Director for Stehli Silks, Green saw firsthand the prevalence of uninspired, watered-down copies of French designs on the American silk market. That troublesome trend, and a trip to the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs (in which the United States chose not to participate), seem to have inspired Green to put together a defiantly American collection.
As the name of this collection suggests, the designs were meant to be patriotic, but in a less traditional sense, as they referenced jazz and urban life and evoked a general sense of movement and energy. Some of the Americana Prints featured direct references to American life, while others were inspired by a truly American sense of ingenuity, like in Edward Steichen’s patterns, which were based on photographs of everyday objects and the shadows they created.