This object has not been digitized yet.

The image is © 1973 Cowtan and Tout.

 

Object Timeline

1973

  • Work on this object began.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2021

  • You found it!

Textile, Magnum, 1973

This is a Textile. It was designed by Larsen Design Studio and produced by Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated. It is dated 1973 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is 63% cotton, 20% vinyl, 12% nylon, 5% polyester, backed with nylon scrim and its technique is embroidered. It is a part of the Textiles department.

The fabric known as Magnum, a signature in Larsen’s line for nearly twenty years, had its origins in a special commission. In 1970, Charles Luckman Associates invited Larsen to develop the grand stage curtain for the Phoenix Symphony Hall, part of the Phoenix Civic Plaza project.
The fabric took more than a year to design and produce. Larsen wanted to replicate the effect of the mirror embroidery done in northwest India and eastern Pakistan, but in machine embroidery. The modernist design of concentric squares would have a reflective or “mirrored” center, surrounded by bands of brilliant color. Mylar film was chosen to create the mirror effect, but the constant puncturing of the film by the embroidery needles caused it to tear away along the perforations. A great deal of experimentation with different weights of Mylar, the addition of a polyester backing and nylon scrim, as well as different tension and density in the machine stitching, were required to achieve the richly embroidered surface without damaging the Mylar substrate.
The curtain was installed in 1972, and introduced into Larsen’s commercial line under the name Magnum in 1973 in the original Flame and two additional colorways; it was not discontinued until 1992.

This object was donated by Longhouse Reserve. It is credited Cowtan and Tout Larsen Archive Collection, Gift of Longhouse Reserve.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 134.6 × 94.6 cm (53 in. × 37 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Magnum, 1973; Designed by Larsen Design Studio (United States); 63% cotton, 20% vinyl, 12% nylon, 5% polyester, backed with nylon scrim; H x W: 134.6 × 94.6 cm (53 in. × 37 1/4 in.); Cowtan and Tout Larsen Archive Collection, Gift of Longhouse Reserve; 2016-32-15

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/673135633/ |title=Textile, Magnum, 1973 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 October 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>