This object is currently on display in room 108 as part of Tablescapes: Designs for Dining. There are 2 other images of this object. See our image rights statement.


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Tablecloth And Two Napkins, Once in a While

This is a Tablecloth and Two napkins. Its medium is linen.

The titles for these tablecloths were taken from American writer Gertrude Stein’s libretto for Four Saints in Three Acts with music composed by Virgil Thomson. Entirely cast with African-American performers, the opera was an artistic phenomenon. Mergentime very likely attended the premiere at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut in 1934—the same year that these tablecloths were designed. The napkins could be folded in multiple ways to show off the different permutations within one pattern. The tablecloths, sold at B. Altman & Co. and Gimbels, received an honorable mention at the 1934 Industrial Arts Exposition sponsored by National Alliance of Art and Industry held at Rockefeller Plaza.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Tablecloth And Two Napkins, Once in a While |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 February 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>