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Textile, Calico Cow

This is a Textile. It was designed by Ilonka Karasz and produced by Associated American Artists. It is dated 1952 and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is cotton and its technique is printed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Ilonka Karasz, an important modernist designer and artist with a large international following, was one of the few Associated American Artists with formal training in textile design. She first created Calico Cow for the cover of The New Yorker (August 19, 1944) and later adapted it for submission to Youngstown Kitchens. (1) The kitchen cabinet company selected Karasz’s work and two other designs for the launch of its collection of coordinating fabrics, wallcoverings, and decals. (2)
The July 1953 issue of Living for Young Homemakers featured an illustration of a family choosing between the three designs. (3)
Calico Cow is included in the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art’s traveling exhibition, “Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934-2000.”
The museum currently holds more than 100 examples of Karasz’s work, including wallcoverings, textiles, and works in metal.
(1) Gail Windisch, Sylvan Cole Jr., and Karen J. Herbaugh, Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934-2000 (Manhattan: Marianna Kistler Beach Museum, Kansas State University, 2016): 204.
(2) Ibid., 195.
(3) Ibid., 200.

This object was donated by American Textile History Museum. It is credited American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of Michele Palmer.

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Its dimensions are

H x W: 97.2 × 84.5 cm (38 1/4 × 33 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Calico Cow; Designed by Ilonka Karasz ((American, born Hungary, 1896–1981)); Produced by Associated American Artists (United States); cotton; H x W: 97.2 × 84.5 cm (38 1/4 × 33 1/4 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of Michele Palmer; 2017-24-7

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Ilonka Karasz, Works from the Collection.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Calico Cow |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=9 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>