Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise of American Design, 1875-1900

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001 - Art - 276 pages
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Candace Wheeler (American, 1827{u2013}1923) changed the course of textile and interior design in nineteenth-century America and was a driving force behind the professionalization of women in the design field. Inspired by the embroideries produced by England's Royal School of Art needlework, which she saw at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Wheeler founded the Society of Decorative Art in New York. The organization offered instruction in the applied arts to women and helped them sell their work, providing them some measure of economic independence. Artistically, Wheeler had begun by taking as her model the accomplishments of advanced British designers such as William Morris and Walter Crane. In the course of her career she absorbed elements of Japanese design and developed a sophisticated American textile style in which the natural forms of native plants were interpreted as free-flowing designs. To produce fabrics that were beautiful but also affordable and practical for use in middle-class homes, she explored unusual weaving and printing techniques, and in some cases invented new ones. This publication contains a biographical essay and a catalogue of about one hundred designs for textiles, wallpaper, and other interior furnishings by Wheeler and her associates. -- Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

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About the author (2001)

Amelia Peck is Marcia F.Vilcek Curator of American Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was the author of the original edition of American Quilts & Coverlets in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and has written several titles on historical architecture, including CANDACE WHEELER: THE ART AND ENTERPRISE OF AMERICAN DESIGN, 1875-1900 (2001) and PERIOD ROOMS IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART (2004).

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