Lucienne Day | Oxfordshire County Council

Lucienne Day

Photo of Lucienne Day

The famous Festival of Britain held in 1951 saw the launch of the career of Lucienne Day. She was one of the pioneering designers of the 20th century whose colourful modernist textiles forged a link between fine art and mass production.  In this regard, she could be seen as William Morris’s dream come true of a merger between fine art and everyday design. Her popularity can be attributed to the mood of post-war hope and optimism which enjoyed the new aesthetic of strong and surprising colours and abstract forms.  Her designs were a bold riposte to austerity gloom. As her design ‘Calyx’, a key exhibit at the Festival shows, she was deeply influenced by European abstract painters such as Klee, Miro, and Kandinsky.

A delightful special exhibition displays many floor-to-ceiling sized samples of her furnishing fabrics.  In addition, photographs display other facets of her wide-ranging design career, including the interior an airplane (how comfortable the seats appear in those far-off days!)  With her wallpapers for the German firm of Rasche and her patterns for Rosenthal ceramics, Lucienne was one of Britain’s rare international stars.  Her designs for Heals fabrics, John Lewis, Crown wallpapers, and Royal Wilton carpets among many others were always distinctive and in step with the fine art of the time.  In her work in the 60’s, for example, there are strong echoes of the artists Ben Nicholson and Patrick Heron.

This exhibition with its colour and air of hope is perfectly timed for the end of winter.

‘Lucienne Day’ continues at the Oxfordshire Museum until 3rd March.  Entrance free.

Dr Jennifer Harris will give a talk on the exhibition on Saturday 3rd February at 2.00 p.m

Tickets £8.00.  Please book with reception: 01993 814106

A touring exhibition by Arts University Bournemouth, created in collaboration with the designer's daughter.


Saturday 13 Jan 2018 to Sunday 4 Mar 2018
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