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Textile, Calder #1

This is a Textile. It was designed by Alexander Calder and produced by Laverne Originals. It is dated 1949. Its medium is cotton and its technique is screen printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Erwine and Estelle Laverne, both trained artists, established Laverne Originals in New York in 1942, with the purpose of bringing fine art into dialogue with design. Their prestigious 57th Street showroom was a spare space that the press described as feeling more like a gallery or museum than a typical showroom. Along with the modern textiles, wallcoverings and furniture for sale, they also exhibited work by their favorite artists and sculptors.
Laverne Originals commissioned work from leading artists, architects and designers for their Contempora collection of textiles and wallcoverings in 1949, including Alexander Calder, Gyorgy Kepes, Ray Komai, Ross Littell, Alvin Lustig, and Oscar Niemeyer. With this concept they joined other manufacturers producing artist-designed collections, like Schiffer’s Stimulus Prints, which included designs by Salvador Dali, Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Bernard Rudofsky, and Fuller Fabrics’ Modern Masters Series, which featured European modernists Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall.
Calder created two designs for the Contempora collection: Splotchy, resembling a loose ink sketch, and Calder #1, a more composed, grid-based pattern. With its design of moons, stars and suns in primary red, yellow and blue, Calder #1 is related to sculptures like Praying Mantis, and reflects the artist’s interest in the structure of the solar system.
This is the first Calder-designed textile to enter the museum's collection.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

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Its dimensions are

H x W: 73.7 × 135.9 cm (29 in. × 53 1/2 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed on left selvedge: Contempora Series Calder #1 ... designed by A. Calder an exclusive handprint

Cite this object as

Textile, Calder #1; Designed by Alexander Calder (American, 1898 - 1976); Produced by Laverne International, Ltd. (United States); cotton; H x W: 73.7 × 135.9 cm (29 in. × 53 1/2 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-127

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Energizing the Everyday: Gifts From the George R. Kravis II Collection.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Calder #1 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=6 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>