Object Timeline

1953

  • Work on this object began.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2017

2019

  • You found it!

Textile, Magic Pearls, 1953

This is a Textile. It was designed by William Ward Beecher 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.

William Ward Beecher, who had no formal art training, designed Magic Pearls in his famous trompe l’oeil style. In this colorway, clusters of white pearls surround pink gemstones on a blue-gray ground. The pearls and jewels appear in three dimensions, as though they have been sewn onto the fabric.
In the summer 1954 McCall’s Pattern Book, an article on “Easygoing Cottons” featured a shirtdress made from Magic Pearls. (1)
This is one of five distinct designs by Beecher presented for consideration.
(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): 195.

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

Its dimensions are

H x W: 95.3 × 88.9 cm (37 1/2 in. × 35 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Magic Pearls, 1953; Designed by William Ward Beecher (American, 1921 - 2006); cotton; H x W: 95.3 × 88.9 cm (37 1/2 in. × 35 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of Ann Cadrette; 2016-35-48

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108711627/ |title=Textile, Magic Pearls, 1953 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>