V & A Pattenr: The Fifties
The pattterns illustrated in his book are from the Victoria and Albert Museum's textile and wallpapers collections. They are representative of some of the most inventive and innovative pattern designs produced during the twentieth century. The extraordinary quantity and variety of textiles and wallpapers acquired by intuitive and proactive curators pay tribute to some of the most dynamic artists, designers and manufactures of the 1950s. The period is dominated by what is commonly defined as the 'contemporary' style. Often imitated, exuberant patterns and bright colourways have ensured each work's place in the lexicon of both British and international design history. The emerging trend for abstraction in the fine arts acted as a stimulus for many European and American designers. The fluid organic forms employed by Joan Miro and Paul Klee, and the brightly coloured mobiles created by Alexander Calder, are evident in the imaginaive and inventive patterns created for fabrics and wallpapers. These seemingly casual, effortless designs are often described as 'whimsical'; however, such inventive combinations owe much to the rigorous art school training of new and established designers.