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Joyful Designs: Rediscovering the Textiles of Marguerita Mergentime

A presentation by Virginia Bayer, granddaughter of textile designer Marguerita Mergentime, whose textiles reshaped the sensibility of the 20th-century home at a time when modernism was being defined. $12 (1 hr)


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Full Details

This talk features the recently rediscovered work of Marguerita Mergentime whose textiles reshaped the sensibility of the 20th-century home at a time when modernism was being defined. A native New Yorker, Mergentime reimagined table linens as a modernist canvas. A pioneer of abstracted graphics, striking color, conversation-stimulating text and radical table settings, she sought to capture a nascent American spirit.   

Mergentime’s avant-garde Manhattan apartment, the only residential project of visionary Frederick Kiesler’s career, will also be highlighted. Mergentime was one of the few female members of the influential American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC); her career placed her alongside such leading male luminaries as Donald Deskey, Russel Wright and Gilbert Rohde. Mergentime’s designs were featured in department store windows along Fifth Avenue and at the famous 1939 New York World’s Fair and San Francisco’s Golden Gate International Exposition; and her designs for Radio City Music Hall continue to hang there today. Her work is in various museum collections including MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt, who have both recently brought out new products based on Mergentime’s vibrant designs.   

Virginia Bayer is the granddaughter of groundbreaking textile designer Marguerita Mergentime. Bayer manages the Mergentime Family Archive, which consists of original textiles; papers, objects and photographs. In 2017, together with textile historian Donna Ghelerter and graphic designer Linda Florio, Bayer wrote the definitive work on her grandmother, Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas. Mergentime’s textiles were a major component of the 2018 exhibition Tablescapes: Designs for Dining at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.   

A book signing by Virginia Bayer’s Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas (West Madison Press, 2017) will follow this presentation.

$12

Things to Know

This event is for all ages.
This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week

Event Check-in Location

Modernism Week CAMP Theater, 575 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262

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Photo Credits: Ivy (napkin), © 2019 Mergentime Family Archive, Two Timing (tablecloth) © 2019 Mergentime Family Archive, Once In A While (napkin) © 2019 Mergentime Family Archive, Food For Thought (tablecloth) © 2019 Mergentime Family Archive, New York World's Fair (tablecloth) © 2019 Mergentime Family Archive, Book Cover, © 2019 Mergentime Family Archive. All photos by Michael Fredericks

 

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