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Textile, Big City

This is a Textile. It is dated 1960s and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is cotton and its technique is screen printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Big City features a cubist cityscape that has a highly dimensional as well as decorative effect.
The textile was manufactured by Sanderson Fabrics. Arthur Sanderson & Sons was initially founded in 1860 as a manufacturer of wallpapers, but began producing textiles in 1921. In 1936, the firm changed its name to Sanderson Fabrics. They operated with a large in-house studio of designers. For their centenary in 1960, however, they commissioned designs from a large number of influential designers including John Piper, Gio Ponti, and Frank Lloyd Wright. This piece is a fusion of the optical effects popularized by Barbara Brown and the art deco revival, which reached its peak in 1969.
At the time of proposed acquisition, the museum’s collection holds a large number of Sanderson wallpapers and four textiles, most from the 1930s through the 1950s.

It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Our curators have highlighted 12 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Skyscraper Radio
  • compression-molded plaskon, metal, glass, woven textile.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2018-22-20

Its dimensions are

H x W: 182.9 x 125.7 cm (72 x 49 1/2 in.)

It is inscribed

Big City A Quaintance Design by Sanderson (printed in selvedge)

Cite this object as

Textile, Big City; England; cotton; H x W: 182.9 x 125.7 cm (72 x 49 1/2 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2007-5-2

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Big City |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=2 April 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>