To follow-up on last week’s blog on George Nelson, I have found something else that Nelson lovers all over the world can own: the iconic China Shop textile is available for purchase through Maharam.
Although we associate China Shop with Nelson it was actually designed by Irving Harper who was working for the George Nelson Design Studio. It is one of the two prints that Harper designed in 1950 for Schiffer Prints, Pavement being the other. Ironically a lot of the furniture and objects that we identify as being Nelson’s were actually done by Harper. While working for Nelson’s studio, Harper designed some of the most beloved examples of mid-century design, including the Marshmallow Sofa which was manufactured by Herman Miller in 1956. Harper also designed the Sunburst Clock which was produced by Howard Miller and can now be found in every design shop known to man.
When Maharam reissued China Shop as part of their Textiles of the 20th Century Series, they called upon Harper for color proofing.
Harper’s China Shop as re-issued by Maharam, 2001
The original textile is also featured in the Museum of Arts and Design’s current exhibition “Crafting Modernism: Mid-century Art and Design.” In the exhibition catalogue, Jennifer Scanlan, co-curator of the exhibition with Jeannine Falino, writes that during the post-war period mass-produced goods referenced the hand-made, the China Shop fabric is a great example as it “featured the irregular ceramic forms popular in the period.”
Harper’s original China Patter, ca. 1950 from the Museum of Arts and Design exhibition, “Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design”