Sample, Design 514, Textured Damask
USA, 1956
Frank Lloyd Wright

F. Schumacher & Co.
Woven rayon
23 x 26”

The renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) launched the first commercial venture of his long and eminent career in 1955, creating affordable home products for the general consumer. The exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright Textiles: The Taliesin Line, 1955–60, which opens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 20, 2019, will feature printed and woven textiles and mahogany vases from the line, many of which were recently acquired for The Met collection.

Urged on by the editor of House Beautiful magazine, Elizabeth Gordon, he agreed to design a line of fabrics and wallpapers for F. Schumacher and Co., furniture for Heritage-Hendredon, paint for Martin-Senour, rugs for Karastan, and accent pieces made by Minic Accessories. These designs were featured in the November 1955 edition of House Beautiful, which was completely devoted to Wright and his work. Of the five lines, only the textiles and wallpapers, furniture, and paint were ultimately produced. The designs for the fabrics and wallpapers were based on Wright’s architectural vocabulary and inspired by specific buildings, photographs of which were included in the Schumacher sample book.

This installation features the sample book Schumacher’s Taliesin Line of Decorative Fabrics and Wallpapers Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (1955), and nine examples of the fabric it introduced. Only 100 copies of the sample book were printed, and these were available only to authorized dealers. The book includes samples of printed and woven designs and wallpaper. To help create the designs, Wright enlisted his apprentices, members of the Taliesin Fellowship, and one apprentice, Ling Po (1917–2014), was credited with the designs of several of the printed textiles. All were made “under the direction and supervision” of Wright.

While the furniture and paints were not strong sellers, the vibrant textiles and wallpapers were successful, and designs from the original line remained in production for more than a decade. —The Met

(Photo: The Met)