Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.


  • We acquired this object.






  • You found it!

Textile, Primavera

This is a Textile. It was designed by Larsen Design Studio and Don Wight and produced by Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated and printed by Taunus Textildruck Zimmer. It is dated 1959 and we acquired it in 1973. Its medium is cotton and its technique is hand screen printed on supplementary warp pile (velvet). It is a part of the Textiles department.

The intricate floral pattern for Primavera, inspired by the paintings of Gustav Klimt, took Jack Lenor Larsen and freelance artist Don Wight more than a year to perfect. With its exuberant clusters of small flower heads, shadowy leaves, and pulsing biomorphic shapes, all scattered freely against a ground of wavy stripes – the pattern had to be printed on a fabric that would show it to best advantage.
Sensuous velvet was the ideal medium for Primavera’s intoxicating design. But in the late 1950s, it was almost impossible to screen print complex patterns on traditional velvets, as the dye could not penetrate the thick pile. After extensive experimentation, Larsen’s studio successfully wove a cotton velvet, luxurious to the touch, with pile low enough to hand screen print with no loss of color intensity, a first in the American textile industry. In fact, in its day, Primavera was the most successful printed velvet in the industry. Today it remains an icon of the period.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled The Effulgence of Country Gardens.

This object was donated by Jack Lenor Larsen. It is credited Gift of Jack Lenor Larsen.

  • Made by Rain
  • textiles (2).
  • Courtesy of Aliki van der Kruijs.
  • NATURE.008

Its dimensions are

H x W: 143.5 × 142.2 cm (56 1/2 × 56 in.) Repeat H x W: 91.4 × 121.9 cm (36 × 48 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Primavera; Designed by Larsen Design Studio (United States), Don Wight (American, 1924–1999); Printed by Taunus Textildruck Zimmer (Germany); Produced by Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated (United States); USA; cotton; H x W: 143.5 × 142.2 cm (56 1/2 × 56 in.) Repeat H x W: 91.4 × 121.9 cm (36 × 48 in.); Gift of Jack Lenor Larsen; 1973-54-2

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

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

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18481931/ |title=Textile, Primavera |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>