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Textile, Americana Print: Rhapsody

This is a Textile. It was company: Stehli Silk Corporation. It is dated 1925 and we acquired it in 1937. Its medium is silk and its technique is printed by engraved roller. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Between 1925 and 1927, the Stehli Silks Corporation produced the Americana Prints, a series of nearly 100 artist-designed dress silks for the modern woman. American artists, designers, celebrities and cartoonists were selected to create the prints, among them photographer Edward Steichen and cartoonist John Held Jr., who produced the piece featured here. Taken together, the prints present a microcosm of Jazz Age culture. One features automobiles, another aspirin tablets, and a third a crowd of people at a sporting event.

This example is a humorous riff off a typical polka-dot pattern, with jazz musicians and their instruments dotting the fabric in a repeating white and blue pattern. Like the other Americana prints, it was produced on a variety of silk fabrics, including crepe de chine, georgette, and chiffon. The prints were sold both as yard goods at high-end department stores and as ready-to-wear dresses at middle-market retailers. This, in addition to the publication of a limited-edition catalog of reproductions, ensured that the prints were widely circulated both as popular commodities and works of art.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled A Jazzy Print.

This object was donated by Marian Hague. It is credited Gift of Marian Hague.

  • George Gershwin at Piano
  • oil on canvas.
  • Lent by Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Max D. Levy, 1967, 67.109.
  • 76.2016.3

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

  • Orchestra Bracelet
  • diamonds, platinum, cabochon sapphires, carved onyx.
  • Neil Lane Collection.
  • 59.2016.20

Its dimensions are

H x W: 24.1 × 97.8 cm (9 1/2 × 38 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Americana Print: Rhapsody; Company: Stehli Silk Corporation (Switzerland); USA; silk; H x W: 24.1 × 97.8 cm (9 1/2 × 38 1/2 in.); Gift of Marian Hague; 1937-1-3

We have 1 media file that features Textile, Americana Print: Rhapsody.

"Rhapsody In Blue," Paul Whiteman and His Concert Orchestra, featuring George Gershwin (1924)

George Gershwin is, simply put, an American treasure. While “American Popular Song,” “Tin Pan Alley,” and orchestral works are all a vital part of his catalog, “Rhapsody In Blue” is...

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Americana Print: Rhapsody |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=2 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>