Marguerita Mergentime's textiles reshaped the sensibility of the 20th-century American home
Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas serves as a definitive source on this lauded American designer. Working in the heady milieu of 1930s New York, Mergentime (1894–1941) became best known for strikingly new printed fabrics, making her mark with tablecloths created to enliven American households with color, humor and entertainment. A member of the influential American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC), Mergentime was a woman whose career placed her alongside Donald Deskey and Russel Wright, as well as visionary architect Frederick Kiesler, who designed the furnishings in her New York apartment.
Mergentime reshaped the sensibility of the 20th-century home at a time when modernism was being defined, contributing original textiles to Radio City Music Hall, Wright’s American Way and the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Articles and advertisements promoted her career across the United States. Today her Radio City designs can still be seen in the legendary venue, and her fabrics reside in museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; the Brooklyn Museum; the Museum at FIT; and the Allentown Art Museum.
In this volume, essays highlight Mergentime’s life and career, and over 150 images illustrate her designs that brought asymmetry, politics, folk art and quizzes to the table. Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas reintroduces the woman who asked, “Are you allergic to meaningless uninspired patterns in printed cloths?” and places her squarely back on the scene.