Jack Lenor Larsen and Win Andersen – Magnum 1970

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© Jack Lenor Larsen and Win Anderson. Photograph by R. H. Hensleigh and Tim Thayer.

Jack Lenor Larsen and Win Andersen (Designers)

Magnum (Upholstery and Wallcovering Fabric), designed 1970

Larsen: Born 1927, Seattle, Washington; Cranbrook Academy of Art, MFA, Department of Weaving, 1951;
Andersen: Born 1922, Fairview, Montana; Cranbrook Academy of Art, MFA, Department of Weaving, 1952;

Manufacturer: Jack Lenor Larsen, New York, New York
Fabricator: Artistocrat Embroidery, Guttenberg, New Jersey

Layered mylar, cotton flannel, sheer polyester, organza and wool, cotton and synthetic threads; machine embroidered
Hemmed: 144 ¼ x 49 inches
Museum Purchase with funds from the Wetsman Foundation
CAM 2000.5

Distinguished textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen designed Magnum to serve as curtain fabric for the Phoenix Opera House before it was released to the public as upholstery and wallcovering fabric. Characteristic of his work, this luxurious, futuristic textile is composed of vibrant colors, rich textures and innovative materials such as mirrored Mylar polyester film. Unlike most textiles designed for production, however, this piece requires such highly specialized and slow methods of manufacture that it is almost as time-consuming and costly to produce as it would be if handmade.

Through teaching, organizing exhibitions and writing, Larsen helped challenge other fabric designers to find new materials and production techniques while being true to the medium’s history. Among other accomplishments, Larsen created the first printed velvet upholstery fabrics, designed draperies for New York’s landmark Lever House as well as Pan Am and Braniff airlines, and received the 1964 Milan Triennale gold medal.

Ellen M. Dodington
from Cranbrook Art Museum: 100 Treasures (Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Art Museum, 2004)
Category(s): Textiles; Wallpaper

Decade(s): 1970s

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