timeless, whimsical and filled with optimism, the textiles of lucienne day – who passed away last month at the age of 93 – are as modern and lovely today as they were when she designed them in the post-war era. her organic and scratchy geometrics, bring to mind the drawings of paul klee, joan miró, and the works of alexander calder. with her furniture designing husband, robin, the days were the britain’s most celebrated design couple and their equivalent of our charles and ray eames, producing democratic designs and making wonderful textiles accessible and suitable for hanging. however, unlike the eames (who worked as a couple), the days worked independently yet still created designs that were cohesive and harmonious.
from the guardian’s beautifully written obituary:
Lucienne’s special genius was to fuse the British tradition of a love for nature – the 19th-century world of John Ruskin, William Morris, Charles Voysey and the Arts and Crafts movement, with the abstract concerns of international contemporary art. This wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it came naturally in her designs for fabrics, ceramics and, more recently, tapestries. These last, in particular, were wonderfully wrought things, tactile masterpieces of geometry, colour and imagination.
The tapestries were never for the mass market, but most of Lucienne’s designs held a wide appeal, and sold well – something that mattered very much to her and her husband. Both came from the “nothing is too good for ordinary people” tradition. The idea was that good, intelligent design should be part, parcel and fabric of everyday life.
a biography of robin and lucienne day and photos of their work can be found here at the design museum.
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