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Object Timeline

-0001

1953

  • Work on this object began.

1956

  • We acquired this object.

2010

2013

2020

  • You found it!

Textile, Pythagoras, 1953

This is a Textile. It was produced by Knoll Textiles. It is dated 1953 and we acquired it in 1956. Its medium is 60% linen, 40% cotton and its technique is screen printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles Department department.

Like many architects of his generation, Swedish architect Sven Markelius was involved in both the exterior and interior decoration of the buildings he designed. He was very interested in textiles and created numerous designs for interior fabrics. Like this example, many feature repeating shapes in analogous colors dispersed within an even grid.

Hand screen-printed on a cotton linen blend, ‘Pythagoras’ combines wide bands of yellow, red, and violet triangles with narrower bands in white, black, and grey. Requiring eighteen unique screens to print, the pattern presents a challenge for even a skilled team of printers, as the narrow gaps between several of the triangles in this length reveal. Markelius incorporated it in several building designs in the early 1950s, including the Royal Institute of Technology Assembly Hall in Stockholm. An icon of Swedish design, it remains in production today.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled One window, three curtains.

This object was donated by Knoll Textiles. It is credited Gift of Knoll Associates, Inc..

Its dimensions are

H x W: 459.7 x 130.2 cm (181 x 51 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Pythagoras, 1953; Produced by Knoll Textiles (United States); Sweden; 60% linen, 40% cotton; H x W: 459.7 x 130.2 cm (181 x 51 1/4 in.); Gift of Knoll Associates, Inc.; 1956-123-1

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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/18407115/ |title=Textile, Pythagoras, 1953 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=14 August 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>