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Textile, London Toile

This is a Textile. It was produced by Timorous Beasties. It is dated ca. 2006 and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is linen and its technique is screen printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

London Toile is patterned after late 18th- and early 19th-century copperplate printed toiles de Jouy, which often depicted picturesque scenes or points of interest around various cities. The museum has, for example, the designs Monuments of Rome and Monuments of Paris. But, a closer inspection of London Toile reveals a very contemporary London skyline, including the Swiss Re Tower and the London Eye, along with contemporary social woes such as homelessness and street violence.
The Glasgow design firm, Timorous Beasties, has been of great interest to both the Textiles and Wallcoverings departments since its founding in 1990. The museum acquired three Timorous Beasties textiles that same year. The founders of the group, Paul Simmons and Alistair MacAuley, met as students of textile design at Glasgow School of Art. As Timorous Beasties, they have consistently produced exceptionally innovative work in the field of surface design. Depicting uncompromisingly contemporary images on traditional textiles and wallpapers, their provocative style was once described as “William Morris on acid.” In 2005, Timorous Beasties was the recipient of the Scottish Style Award for Outstanding Contribution and, in 2006, received the Elle Decoration Award for both Best Textiles and Best Carpet.
London Toile is a wonderful update to our excellent collection of 18th- and 19th-century copperplate prints, which includes a textile printed on the very first plate press in Ireland in 1752.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled From Romantic to Raw: Toile Transformed.

This object was donated by Timorous Beasties. It is credited Gift of Timorous Beasties.

Its dimensions are

358.1 x 143.5 cm (11 ft. 9 in. x 56 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, London Toile; Produced by Timorous Beasties (United Kingdom); Scotland; linen; 358.1 x 143.5 cm (11 ft. 9 in. x 56 1/2 in.); Gift of Timorous Beasties; 2007-40-1

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18711355/ |title=Textile, London Toile |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=2 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>