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2012

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Drawing, Textile Design: Honeysuckle and Hollyhocks

This is a Drawing. It was designed by Alphonse Maria Mucha. We acquired it in 2012. Its medium is brush and watercolor, graphite on cream wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Although textile designs were not a major part of his graphic production, Alphonse Mucha produced a number of designs for printed fabrics between 1897 and 1898 (as recorded in the artist’s diaries). All of these were handled by the firm of Carl Gustave Forrer, an industrial draftsman of Swiss origin who had established businesses in Paris and the Parisian suburb of Sannois. The Forrer firm sent the designs to an Alsatian printing firm, Sheurer, Lauth & Cie, and possibly to a London shop for manufacture.
It is not clear how many of Mucha’s designs were actually produced or how they were used. Comparatively few printed textiles are known today. Examples may be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Landesmuseum Württemberg in Stuttgart, and in the collection of Cooper-Hewitt.
In describing Mucha’s textile designs, the designer Maurice Pillard Verneuil said that Mucha’s “system of composition is two-part in the sense that in the same design, he combines a very stylized design with one very close to nature. A very naturalistic floral design occupies the first plane and in the background, a simple stylized form completes the ensemble.”[1] This comment aptly applies to the design proposed for acquisition.
The proposed drawing would join other textile designs by Mucha in the museum’s collection, including Femme à Marguerite and Anemones, Apple Blossoms and Narcissi—both of which share similar characteristics of color and composition.
[1] Maurice Pillard Verneuil, “Adaptation du Décor à la Forme,” Art et Décoration: Revue Mensuelle d’Art Moderne, December 1903.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Natural Beauty.

This object was donated by Aimee B. Troyen.

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

Cite this object as

Drawing, Textile Design: Honeysuckle and Hollyhocks; Designed by Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech, 1860–1939); France; brush and watercolor, graphite on cream wove paper; 2012-15-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/35460973/ |title=Drawing, Textile Design: Honeysuckle and Hollyhocks |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=23 February 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>