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This and 21 other objects are a part of a set whose first object is Book, Book of Carpet Designs.

Object Timeline

1928

  • Work on this object began.

1929

  • Work on this object ended.

1982

  • We acquired this object.

2008

2014

2019

  • You found it!

Book, Book of Carpet Designs, ca. 1928

This is a Book. It was designed by Marion Dorn Kauffer and Edward McKnight Kauffer. It is dated ca. 1928 and we acquired it in 1982. Its medium is brush and watercolor, gouache on photostats mounted on wove paper of a bound volume. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

In the 1920s, Marion Dorn Kauffer was dubbed “The Architect of Floors” in praise for her influential modern carpet designs. Dorn, an American working in England until the outbreak of World War II, helped to bring official recognition to the textile design profession, previously undervalued in Britain. She favored batik (hand-crafted wax-resist-printed textiles), a laborious technique that allows greater design freedom than machine-printed textiles. When the batik technique was applied to rugs, it resulted in luxurious carpets with the flat style with horizontal patterns in which she prevailed. At the time, sparse, mostly white interior spaces were considered modish; rugs helped to break up the aesthetic monotony of such rooms while designating areas to be used for different purposes. This hand-colored photostat is one of twenty-two from a personal sales album she created early in her career featuring hand-knotted carpets woven by the Wilton Royal Carpet Factory. Of the twenty-two carpet designs, she created ten and acclaimed graphic artist E. McKnight Kauffer, who would later become her husband, created twelve. Kauffer would ultimately design less than two dozen carpets and instead find success in poster design while Dorn would go on to create over one hundred carpets for prestigious clients and find success at the forefront of modern applied arts in Britain.

It is credited Gift of Daren Pierce.

Its dimensions are

Overall: 32.4 x 24.4 x 3.2 cm (12 3/4 x 9 5/8 x 1 1/4 in.)

It is inscribed

Inscribed in black ink on end paper: This book is the property / of Marion Dorn / designer / 49 Chiltern Court / Baker St. / London / Copyright of all designs / reserved to the / designer.

Cite this object as

Book, Book of Carpet Designs, ca. 1928; Designed by Marion Dorn Kauffer and Edward McKnight Kauffer; USA; brush and watercolor, gouache on photostats mounted on wove paper of a bound volume; Overall: 32.4 x 24.4 x 3.2 cm (12 3/4 x 9 5/8 x 1 1/4 in.); Gift of Daren Pierce; 1982-79-17-20

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250693/ |title=Book, Book of Carpet Designs, ca. 1928 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=19 March 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>