Textile, Causeway, 1967
World War II had a profound impact on Britain’s textile industry. Wartime austerity clothes-rationing severely curtailed textile production and Britain’s utility scheme limited the scale of patterns and the color palette to rust, green, blue, and natural. Eager to regain their economic and aesthetic superiority in the industry after the war, British companies sought out collaborations with designers and artists to create new designs, many of which were influenced by the organic and abstract forms used by such artists as Joan Miró, Paul Klee, and Alexander Calder. The Festival of Britain, held in London in 1951, was a showcase for these new design ideas known as the “Contemporary Style.”
Heal Fabrics, established in 1941, was a producer of both textiles and furniture and was one of the exhibitors at the festival. Under the direction of Tom Worthington from 1948 to 1971, Heal’s developed an international reputation for well-designed contemporary fabrics, which were especially popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Heal’s exhibit in the Homes and Gardens Pavilion at the festival featured the work of the husband and wife design team, Robin and Lucienne Day, who were often compared to their United States contemporaries, Charles and Ray Eames. Lucienne’s influential design, Calyx, was introduced at the festival and she remained a prominent figure in textile design for the next two decades, providing designs for several companies including British Celanese and Edinburgh Weavers.
Causeway would be the second textile design by Lucienne Day in the collection. At the time of proposed acquisition, the museum has Calyx in two colorways, as well as reproduced in a wallpaper sample book.
Its dimensions are
H x W: 228.6 x 116.8 cm (90 x 46 in.)
Cite this object as
Textile, Causeway, 1967. cotton. Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund. 2007-5-1.