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Object Timeline

1936

  • Work on this object began.

2019

  • We acquired this object.

2020

  • You found it!

Tablecloth, Food for Thought, 1936

This is a Tablecloth. It was designed by Marguerita Mergentime. It is dated 1936 and we acquired it in 2019. Its medium is cotton.

These “talking” tablecloths reveal Mergentime’s strength as a graphic designer in her creative use of typography and careful composition of text in its relationship to the table and diner. Her textiles were expressive, capturing the essence of a word or phrase through a signature or typeface. In Food Quiz, questions with their answers were jumbled, leaving it up to the diners 1939 to make the correct matches (answers were highlighted). Food for Thought, produced for Lord & Taylor, was a true test for American history buffs with answers contained in an accompanying booklet.

This object was donated by Virginia Bayer. It is credited Gift of Mergentime Family Archive.

Its dimensions are

L x W: 134 × 134 cm (52 3/4 × 52 3/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Tablecloth, Food for Thought, 1936; Designed by Marguerita Mergentime ; cotton; L x W: 134 × 134 cm (52 3/4 × 52 3/4 in.); Gift of Mergentime Family Archive; 2019-17-5

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/2318799208/ |title=Tablecloth, Food for Thought, 1936 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=23 February 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>