Modern Textiles, 1850–1970

This course traces the development of furnishing and dress textiles in Europe and the United States from the highly naturalistic and revival styles of the mid-nineteenth century through 1960s postmodernism and pop art, and students investigate the artistic, social, cultural, and economic contexts of textile production, marketing, and consumption during the period. Major reform movements, stylistic trends, and the work of leading designers are examined vis-à-vis the significance of furnishing textiles in the creation of unified interiors, both domestic and commercial. In the realm of dress fabrics, students look especially at the contribution of avant-garde artists to both high-end and mass production. Particular attention is also paid to the rapidly evolving technological advances that dramatically affected fibers and weaving, dyeing, and printing processes. Two field trips are planned. 3 credits.