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Textile, Stilts

This is a Textile. It was designed by Angelo Testa. It is dated 1951 and we acquired it in 2001. Its medium is cotton and its technique is screen printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Angelo Testa (1921–1984) was one of the most important fabric designers of the late 1940s and 1950s. Testa was a graduate (1945) of the László Moholy Nagy (1895–1946) Institute of Design, in Chicago. He was greatly influenced by the Bauhaus principles Moholy Nagy espoused. It was Testa who is credited with introducing abstract and non objective motifs to commercial textile design in the United States.
In the late 1940s, the textile division of Angelo Testa’s company did its own screen printing. Later, Testa had his designs printed by other companies. Testa did not produce an annual or bi-annual line as other fabric producers did. Instead, once he had put a design into production he would keep filling orders for the design, having new yardage printed as necessary. His clients were primarily architects and interior designers and his fabrics were used in many large buildings, often corporate headquarters.
Stilts was designed in 1951. It was widely advertised and was used in magazine articles. The terracotta color represents a period color favored in the middle of the century. The fabric was cut from a bolt of fabric that had been stored by one of Testa’s brothers. Because it is unused, all of its original finishes and markings are intact. The museum has been interested in adding to our collection of Testa’s work. At the time of proposed acquisition, we have one length of a pattern called Filo and small pieces of four other designs. We have long wanted to acquire some larger lengths, and this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to acquire a Testa fabric in such excellent condition.

It is credited Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund.

  • Textile, Eclat
  • cotton.
  • Museum purchase through gift of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and from....
  • 2011-41-1

Its dimensions are

H x W: 285.4 x 124.5 cm (112 3/8 x 49 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Stilts; Designed by Angelo Testa (American, 1921–1984); USA; cotton; H x W: 285.4 x 124.5 cm (112 3/8 x 49 in.); Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund; 2001-1-2

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Stilts |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=21 May 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>