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Your guide to celebrating Lucienne Day’s centenary year

How to celebrate the pattern designer and colourist's centenary year

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During the course of her six-decade career, Lucienne Day earned a reputation as a virtuoso pattern designer and colourist worldwide for her distinctive textiles. 5 January marks her 100th birthday and the beginning of a year-long celebration of what would have been her centenary year, with leading cultural organisations across the country holding exhibitions and events in her name.

Lucienne Day with Diabolo wallpaper 1951 in her Cheyne Walk studio

Copyright the Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation

Lucienne Day: Living Design

TheGallery at Arts University of Bournemouth will be exhibiting a show celebrating the life and work of one of the most influential designers of the post-war generation. This is the first large-scale event to celebrate the life and works of Lucienne Day.

The exhibition at TheGallery will tell the story of Lucienne Day’s design career, unfolding in a sequence of photographs drawn from the archives of the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation. It begins in 1940 with her Diploma Show as a textile student at the Royal College of Art, and the work leading up to her career breakthrough at the Festival of Britain in 1951 with the pioneering ‘Contemporary’ design Calyx. It continues with her prolific output of textiles for furnishing and dress fabrics, table linen, carpets, wallpapers and ceramics for numerous companies worldwide during the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibition concludes with her ‘second career’ in the last two decades of the century as a designer of handstitched fine art wall-hangings in the new medium she invented and termed ‘silk mosaics’.

From January 12- 22 March, TheGallery at Arts University of Bournemouth.

Lucienne Day furnishing fabric

Reissue of Lucienne furnishing fabric, Lucienne Day, (Cavendish Textiles, 1974) on John Lewis cushion, 2014; copyright the Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation

John Lewis Collection

Later this year, John Lewis will be releasing a collection of Lucienne Day cushions and fabrics, collaborating with Paula Day (Lucienne’s daughter). Stay tuned to see more. From end of January, in store.

Lucienne Day with Calyx

Lucienne Day with Calyx, Heal’s, 1951.

Lucienne Day: A Sense of Growth

Lucienne Day was an enthusiastic gardener and many of her textile designs were inspired by plant forms. As part of the nationwide Lucienne Day centenary celebrations, an exhibition will open in Spring 2017 at the Whitworth.

The show is part of the gallery’s GROW project that promotes the benefits of engaging in horticultural activities to improve mental wellbeing. This allows groups and individuals within the local community who are experiencing social isolation or dealing with issues around mental health to work with Paula Day from the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation to select works to display from the Whitworth’s extensive archive of Lucienne Day designs. 1 April – 11 June 2017, The Whitworth Art Gallery, The University of Manchester.

Glasgow School of Art

Work by Lucienne Day held in The Glasgow School of Art’s Archives and Collections will be showcased as part of a textiles exhibition at the GSA in late September 2017.

Too Many Cooks tea towel Lucienne Day

Too Many Cooks tea towel, Lucienne Day, Thomas Somerset, 1957 Collection of Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown III, Denver; Courtesy of the Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation

The Textile Society

The Textile Society is joining the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation in celebrating the centenary of Lucienne Day’s birth in 2017 with The Lucienne Day Award, the most coveted honour given every year by the Textile Society in June. A special Lucienne Day Centenary Award will be made by the Textile Society in collaboration with the Day Foundation also. See more at the Antique Textile fair on April 30th.

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