DECORATIVE ARTS, JEWELRY, CERAMICS, TEXTILES

PUBLISHER
West Madison Press LLC

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8.25 x 10 in. / 144 pgs / 145 color / 39 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

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D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 30   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780692768273 TRADE
List Price: $39.95 CDN $53.95

AVAILABILITY
In stock

Marguerita Mergentime: innovative, passionate, courageous, pioneering, and clever; designer of table linens, shower curtains, sheets, towels, bedspreads, drapery, flatware, and china. But it was for her strikingly new printed table linens that she became best known, making her mark with tablecloths created to enliven the average home with color, humor, and entertainment.

Virginia Bayer

BOOKSELLER TRADE ANNOTATION

Joyful American textiles of the 1930s: whether Esty or Knoll is your look, you will love them!
  • A major design rediscovery: Marguerita Mergentime (1894-1941) was a 1930s designer in New York City.
  • She designed table linens, sheets, towels, bedspreads, drapery, flatware, and china. Best known for printed bold, colorful tablecloths created to enliven the average home with color and humor.
  • Her fabric and carpet designs can be seen today in Radio City Music Hall and in museum collections including The Museum of Modern Art; the Cooper Hewitt, the Brooklyn Museum; the Museum at FIT.
  • Compare her to scarf designer Vera Neumann (Vera) and to Russell Wright with whom she worked with contributing textiles to Wright's American Way campaign and the 1939 New York World's Fair.
  • Affordable & fun overview of her work - the book will make you smile - PRESS coverage has included Elle Decor, Metropolis Magazine New York Magazine's Design Hunting, Print Magazine, and Design Observer.
  • Author Linda Florio was senior graphic designer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Arts and Design (MAD). Author Madelyn Shaw is curator of textiles at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

  

WEST MADISON PRESS LLC

Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas

Edited by Donna Ghelerter. Foreword by Madelyn Shaw. Text by Virginia Bayer, Linda Florio, Donna Ghelerter.

ABOVE: Marguerita Mergentime, "Wish Fulfillment" cocktail napkin from a set of eight, 1939. Photo: Michael Fredericks.

Marguerita Mergentime's textiles reshaped the sensibility of the 20th-century American home

Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas serves as a definitive source on this lauded American designer. Working in the heady milieu of 1930s New York, Mergentime (1894–1941) became best known for strikingly new printed fabrics, making her mark with tablecloths created to enliven American households with color, humor and entertainment. A member of the influential American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC), Mergentime was a woman whose career placed her alongside Donald Deskey and Russel Wright, as well as visionary architect Frederick Kiesler, who designed the furnishings in her New York apartment.

Mergentime reshaped the sensibility of the 20th-century home at a time when modernism was being defined, contributing original textiles to Radio City Music Hall, Wright’s American Way and the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Articles and advertisements promoted her career across the United States. Today her Radio City designs can still be seen in the legendary venue, and her fabrics reside in museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; the Brooklyn Museum; the Museum at FIT; and the Allentown Art Museum.

In this volume, essays highlight Mergentime’s life and career, and over 150 images illustrate her designs that brought asymmetry, politics, folk art and quizzes to the table. Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas reintroduces the woman who asked, “Are you allergic to meaningless uninspired patterns in printed cloths?” and places her squarely back on the scene.


ABOVE: Marguerita Mergentime, "Wish Fulfillment" cocktail napkin from a set of eight, 1939. Photo: Michael Fredericks.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Daniella on Design

Daniella Ohad

A comprehensive volume that presents the personal voice...[and] comes to illuminate the career of this designer who came to shape a new sensibility of the American home.

Print Mag

Steven Heller

A treat for what it brings to light of the pre-war modern home-style sensibility that blends modernist abstraction with representational floral motifs—and an unusual typographic sensibility. You may still find it hard to remember the name but the work is unforgettable.

Food52

Mayukh Sen

Mergentime's designs, whimsical and self-aware, are the book's main draw, and they speak for themselves.

Selvedge

Rebecca Hoyes

Once in awhile I come across a book which delights and informs in equal measure. This is one such book that offers an inspiring archive of designs appealing to those with an appreciation of pattern and colour, as well as those with an interest in typography, language and the social and cultural history of America.

Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas

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FROM THE BOOK
Marguerita Mergentime and Gertrude Stein

With a nod to Gertrude Stein’s Four Saints in Three Acts, Marguerita Mergentime titled her first printed table linens with phrases borrowed from Stein’s libretto: Once in a While, Have to Have, Instead of. In a striking move away from white damask for the table, colorful geometric shapes, aligned asymmetrically on rectangular cloths, reference abstract painting. Other designs feature large-scale, playful polka dots and concisely patterned arrangements of stripes. Draped on a table, these cloths with their original, irregular patterns refuted traditional ideas of how to properly set a table, and brought a modern sensibility of informality to dining.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

MADDIE GILMORE | DATE 3/24/2017

Maddie Gilmore on the Textiles of Marguerita Mergentime

Maddie Gilmore on the Textiles of Marguerita Mergentime

Marguerita Mergentime has largely been forgotten in the history of American design, but she is the subject of West Madison Press's sprightly new book Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas. Born into a wealthy German-Jewish family in New York City in 1894, she embarked upon an "unorthodox" education in design, beginning with the progressive, hands-on approach of the Ethical Culture School in Manhattan, and culminating in evening art classes and self-directed independent study at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mergentime and her vibrant, uninhibited printed kitchen linens emerged on the New York design scene in the post-war 1930s—a time when manufacturers and industrial art institutions alike were beginning to shape a uniquely American style, coaxing "Americana" into the design sensibility of modern homes.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/22/2017

Bold, dashing color on the table: 'Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas'

Bold, dashing color on the table: 'Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas'

Every once in a while we get a book that is not like any other. Featured on Food 52 and a Wall Street Journal top Holiday Gift Book for 2017, Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas is a refreshing look at an under-recognized giant of American industrial design—a fearless niche specialist in 1930s kitchen textiles. "I thought all table cloths a bore—particularly the white," Mergentime explained to a student audience in 1940. "What people needed, I decided, was bold dashing color on the table, a new kind of design that you just couldn’t resist. After endless toil and labor, I had six exciting gay designs ready to put on the market. There were large oversized dots—solid chunks of color, asymmetric designs and did that surprise them—delectable new color combinations… Modestly, I can say they were sensational. People commented on the idea of bringing lively and challenging colors to the table and wondered why it had not been done before." continue to blog


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