"Art by the Yard" might be one of the most cheerful exhibits ever to brighten a museum's walls. Bored with the drab interiors of postwar England, three women—Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler, and Jacqueline Groag—drafted eye-popping fabric patterns that brought the sunny colors and abstract shapes of modernist artists like Klee and Calder into middle-class homes. The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., has gathered 85 samples of the designers' work, such as Day's charming Jack Sprat tea towel and Mahler's whimsical repeats of flowers and temples. Together they illustrate how avant-garde design helped usher an ailing nation toward a prosperous future.
Art by the Yard: Women Design Mid-century Britain, May 15–September 12. The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C.;
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