Jack Lenor Larsen: Master of Textile Design

Jack Lenor Larsen 

A series of lectures accompanied by a major retrospective called "Jack Lenor Larsen: 40 Years" are on their way to the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID). The Retrospective will celebrate the designer's 40th years as a renowned high-end textile producer in the United States. This major exhibit will be on view from September 19 through December 5, 2012 at the NYSID Gallery located at 161 East 69 Street in New York City. Jack Lenor Larsen founded his design firm in 1952 and went on to become a dominant resource for signature fabrics.

The “Larsen Look,” which began with Larsen’s own award-winning hand-woven fabrics of natural yarns in random repeats, has evolved to become synonymous with 20th century design at its pinnacle. The famed designer is also well known for drawing inspiration from textile traditions throughout the world, using traditional and modern weaving methods.

The exhibition will include Larsen’s commissions from famous architects plus fabrics from his solo-exhibit at the Palais du Louvre. The works demonstrate his stellar use of handcraft as well as his innovations in new materials and untried technology—often in heady colors. Viewers will perceive Larsen’s persistent urging to reinforce individuality, as Larsen states, “in this mass world our supporting the singular is more crucial than taste.” In keeping with LongHouse’s (Lenor's home, also a public garden and art collection in East Hampton, NY) mission to bring together art and nature, the fabrics will be hung on bamboo frames (the bamboo is grown at LongHouse). Additional textiles, wall coverings and custom tapestries will also be on view, as well as images of Larsen’s rugs, bedding, upholstered furniture and interiors featuring Larsen textiles. The exhibition will also include select textiles from Cowtan & Tout, the company that merged with Larsen Inc. in 1997 and has been designing and distributing Larsen Fabrics ever since.

The following are the lectures to look for:
  • Jack Lenor Larsen: Master of Textile Design. Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 6 – 8pm. A discussion on the career and contributions of innovative craftsman and designer Jack Lenor Larsen. Panelists include Hugh Hardy, Principal of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture; Lou Gropp, former editor of House Beautiful; and textile designer Sherri Donghia. Moderated by Judith Gura, Design History Instructor at NYSID.
  • Designing the Winter Landscape: From Private Gardens to Public Parks. Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 6 – 8pm. Though snow may coat the landscape, winter can bring new beauty to garden foliage. The special character of some exceptional gardens will be discussed and illustrated by the celebrated people who design and nurture them. Jack Lenor Larsen will speak about the gardens at LongHouse Reserve; Juan Montoya will discuss his gardens in Garrison, New York; and landscape architect Thomas Balsley of Thomas Balsley Associates will talk about recent projects including Chelsea Waterside Park and Riverside Park South in New York.
  • Lectures will take place at the NYSID Auditorium, 170 East 70th Street, NYC. Tickets are $12 for general public, $10 seniors and non-NYSID students, free for NYSID students. rsvp@nysid.edu or call 212-472-1500 x440.

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