Diverse fabrics such as silk, rayon, woven wool and cotton provided a new medium for Modern artists, allowing them to experiment with producing vivid textures and colours that brought both new life and a new audience to their work. In Styled by Design, visitors will be able to compare Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson’s 1940s silkscreen designs for Ascher Ltd, which hold the same subtle delicate beauty as any watercolour, with Alan Reynolds and William Scott’s bold 1950s and 60s jacquard woven cotton designs for Edinburgh Weavers that carry all the intensity of rich oil paintings. These dynamic textiles were only ever produced in short runs or limited editions and are much sought after by collectors.
From the mid-20th Century onwards, these eminent artists worked with influential textile manufacturers to produce exclusive and limited edition textiles with the aim of bringing Contemporary art into the home as never before. Ascher Ltd and Edinburgh Weavers developed these artistic partnerships to bring their businesses in a new dynamic direction. Textile powerhouses such as Arthur Sanderson and David Whitehead swiftly followed and captured the public and media’s attention in an innovative, multi-disciplinary fashion, leaving a legacy that holds significance to the fine art and textile industries to this day.