Object Timeline

1954

  • Work on this object began.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2017

2019

  • You found it!

Textile, Hieroglyphics, 1954

This is a Textile. It was designed by Julio de Diego and produced by Associated American Artists. It is dated 1954 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is cotton and its technique is printed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Julio de Diego, who spent time collecting native artifacts in Mexico, first worked with Associated American Artists as a ceramicist. Unlike most of the other artists, he designed his own Stonelain forms and also painted them. (1) His ceramics were reminiscent of paintings by Joan Miro. (2)
De Diego’s 1950 Milky Way bowl appeared in the 1955 Spiegel Home Shopping Book spread alongside curtains and a daybed slipcover made from Aaron Bohrod’s Pagan Magic (5826.28.2016). Windisch wrote that the bowl would have been read as a non-Western object, aligning with the “primitive authenticity” of the room’s décor. (3)
He continued the theme with Hieroglyphics, which may have been his only textile design for Associated American Artists. The fabric’s Egyptian-inspired writing appears here in gray and bright pastels on a black ground. A fashion favorite, it was used by sportswear designers Kaynee (boys’ beachwear), Manhattan (men’s beachwear), and Henry Rosenfeld (women’s blouse and skirt). (4)
(1) Gail Windisch, Sylvan Cole Jr., and Karen J. Herbaugh, Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934-2000 (Manhattan: Marianna Kistler Beach Museum, Kansas State University, 2016): 155.
(2) Ibid., 169.
(3) Ibid., 179.
(4) Karen J. Herbaugh, “Index of AAA Textile Designs,” in Art for Every Home: An Illustrated Index of Associated American Artists Prints, Ceramics, and Textile Designs (Manhattan: Marianna Kistler Beach Museum, Kansas State University, 2016), http://hdl.handle.net/2097/19686.

This object was donated by American Textile History Museum. It is credited American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of Gail Windisch.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 355.6 × 90.2 cm (11 ft. 8 in. × 35 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Hieroglyphics, 1954; Designed by Julio de Diego (American, b. Spain, 1900 - 1979); cotton; H x W: 355.6 × 90.2 cm (11 ft. 8 in. × 35 1/2 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of Gail Windisch; 2016-35-68

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108711675/ |title=Textile, Hieroglyphics, 1954 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 June 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>