Tablecloth, Once in a While, 1934
The titles for these tablecloths were taken from American writer Gertrude Stein’s libretto for Four Saints in Three Acts with music composed by Virgil Thomson. Entirely cast with African-American performers, the opera was an artistic phenomenon. Mergentime very likely attended the premiere at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut in 1934—the same year that these tablecloths were designed. The napkins could be folded in multiple ways to show off the different permutations within one pattern. The tablecloths, sold at B. Altman & Co. and Gimbels, received an honorable mention at the 1934 Industrial Arts Exposition sponsored by National Alliance of Art and Industry held at Rockefeller Plaza.
It is credited
Courtesy of Mergentime Family Archive.
Its dimensions are
L x W (Tablecloth): 121.9 × 167.6 cm (48 in. × 5 ft. 6 in.) L x W (Napkin, blue): 36.2 × 38.1 cm (14 1/4 in. × 15 in.) L x W (Napkin, orange): 36.8 × 36.2 cm (14 1/2 × 14 1/4 in.)