Object Timeline

1950

  • Work on this object began.

1959

  • Work on this object ended.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2017

2019

  • You found it!

Textile, Florence, 1950–1959

This is a Textile. It was designed by Angelo Testa. It is dated 1950–1959 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is cotton and its technique is printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Although Angelo Testa was a painter, sculptor, and weaver, he will perhaps be best remembered for his printed textiles, which are found in many museum collections. He is credited with introducing abstract, non-objective motifs to printed textile designs in the United States. While still a student, he devised a rational theory for printed textiles and wallpapers that challenged the Bauhaus's strictly functionalist emphasis on textured woven (as opposed to printed) fabrics. He reasoned, "The textile designer…must determine what the function of [the] fabric is and what justification he has for putting a design on it. He needs to experiment with line, form, texture, and colour …and refrain from complete coverage, destroying the natural beauty of the textile. Texture should be emphasized where the decorative function of the fabric is minimized, and colour and form where the function is purely decorative."
This cityscape of Florence is among his more representational designs, although it is still comprised strictly of geometric solid and linear forms. Testa, the son of Italian immigrants, also did a design called Venice.
The museum currently has twelve textiles and five drawings, all designs for textiles, by Angelo Testa.

This object was donated by American Historical Textile Museum. It is credited American Textile History Museum Collection.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 442 × 129.5 cm (14 ft. 6 in. × 51 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Florence, 1950–1959; Designed by Angelo Testa (American, 1921–1984); cotton; H x W: 442 × 129.5 cm (14 ft. 6 in. × 51 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection; 2016-35-111

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108723137/ |title=Textile, Florence, 1950–1959 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 June 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>