Object Timeline

1953

  • Work on this object began.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2017

2020

  • You found it!

Textile, Hook 'n' Ladder, 1953

This is a Textile. It was designed by Laura Jean Allen and produced by Associated American Artists. It is dated 1953 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is cotton and its technique is printed. It is a part of the Textiles Department department.

Laura Jean Allen, the illustrator known for covers of The New Yorker and for her children’s books, was one of Associated American Artists’ most prolific artists. Her creations ranged from textiles to ceramics, and she often served as the face of AAA in its magazine advertisements. (1)
Hook ‘n’ Ladder features old-fashioned firefighters and their equipment, including axes and horse-drawn carriages. The figures appear in stylized combinations of line drawings and solid blocks of color, including a distraught woman who holds a baby and perches atop a stack of detached bricks. Solid rectangles in black, brown, and light blue form the ground, while the figures are rendered in light blue, yellow, and pink. This is one of five of Allen’s textile designs being presented for consideration.
Multiple examples of Allen’s work, including garments fashioned from her Sunspots and Imperial Seal prints, are included in the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art’s traveling exhibition, “Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934-2000.”

(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): 208.
(2) Ibid., 214-215.
(3) Karen J. Herbaugh, “Index of AAA Textile Designs,” in Art for Every Home: An Illustrated Index of Associated American Artists Prints, Ceramics, and Textile Designs (Manhattan: Marianna Kistler Beach Museum, Kansas State University, 2016), http://hdl.handle.net/2097/19686.

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

Its dimensions are

H x W: 94.6 × 88.9 cm (37 1/4 in. × 35 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Hook 'n' Ladder, 1953; Designed by Laura Jean Allen (American, 1916 - 2003); cotton; H x W: 94.6 × 88.9 cm (37 1/4 in. × 35 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of Karen Herbaugh; 2016-35-44

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