Thursday 23 March / 6–8pm
From Wiener Werkstätte to American Modern
Jacqueline Groag (1903–86) was probably the most influential textile designer in Britain in the post Second World War era. Born in Czechoslovakia, she studied textile and pattern design in Austria in the 1920s with the Secessionist architect and designer Josef Hoffmann. With her husband, the Modernist architect Jacques Groag, she was immersed in the intellectual life of Vienna in the 1920s and 1930s. She designed textiles for the Wiener Werkstätte in Vienna and for many of the leading Parisian fashion houses, and received gold medals for textile designs at the Milan Triennale in 1933 and at the 1937 Paris World Fair.
Join us for a colourful talk which explores Groag’s career with reference to her contemporary Josef Frank. In 1938, the political unification of Austria and Germany or Anschluss forced the Groags, who were Jewish, to flee to Prague and then to London. Championed by the British design establishment, Groag had a long and successful career as an émigré designer in the UK. THer work was a strong influence on the contemporary textiles and wallpapers shown at the 1951 Festival of Britain, and she became a major influence on pattern design internationally. Her clients in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s included Associated American Artists, Hallmark Cards and American Greetings Ohio. She was also familiar to the British public through her work for BOAC, British Rail and London Transport, and companies such as John Lewis, Liberty of London, David Whitehead, Edinburgh Weavers, Sandersons, Warerite and Formica. In 1984, at the age of 81, she was made a a Royal Designer for Industry – R.D.I. – the ultimate accolade for any designer in Britain.
Geoffrey Rayner and Richard Chamberlain are renowned textile collectors and the co-authors of the illustrated monograph Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern Design. Their other books include POP! Design, Culture, Fashion and Artists’ Textiles which accompanied exhibitions of their collection at the Fashion and Textile Museum in 2012 and 2014, and which have been touring internationally.
The event starts at 6pm with a drink in the Museum foyer and opportunity to view the exhibition JOSEF FRANK Patterns–Furniture–Painting; the talk and discussion follows at 6.15pm for 6.20pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately one hour including a book signing and the chance to ask questions at the end. Ticket includes admission to the exhibition and guests are welcome to view this before or after the talk.
Price £15 / £12 students includes a complimentary drink and exhibition entry.
Image: Jacqueline Groag Traffic Lights, Textile Design for David Whitehead.Frequently Asked Questions