Josef Frank “Manhattan” textile on Linen (above).
Today I bring you my third (and final) post in a series about Scandinavian textile designer Josef Frank. Originally I’d intended to release these posts back to back (to back) but work got a little crazy, so better late than never! As my other posts focused on nature/plants and bird motifs, this post contains some of Frank’s more unique patterns. “Manhattan” is one of my favorite Frank patterns, partly because I live in NYC, but also because how graphic it is. The way it repeats is also pretty inventive. From 1942-1946, Josef Frank lived and worked as a visiting professor at the New School for Social Research in New York. Frank found Manhattan’s city plan so interesting in its brutal simplicity that he created the Manhattan design which includes a map of the island. Frank designed similar patterns in this style for Stockholm, both of its city grid and another depicting its architecture. I hope you enjoy this final look (at least for now) of one of my favorite textile designers, Josef Frank. If you see anything you like, check out Svenskt Tenn‘s website, or Just Scandinavian here in NYC to see Frank’s work in person.
Frank’s “Manhattan” textile in person at Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm (above) from my study tour of Sweden. As you can see below, this pattern has been applied to several products at Svenkst Tenn including coasters, laminated wooden trays and pillows. I have one of the small trays, but would love the Manhattan print on just about anything.
According to Svenskt Tenn’s website, of Frank 160+ patterns, only two varied from nature motifs, “Terrazzo” is one of such prints (below). This print was sent to Estrid Ericson as a gift on her 50th birthday in 1944.
I was lucky enough to see “Terrazzo” in person during my visit to Svenkst Tenn in 2011. This pattern also comes on everything from pillows to plates (below).
Josef Frank “Navigare” pillow (above) and textile on Linen (below).
Frank designed Navigare as a tribute to Estrid Ericson’s husband Captain Sigfrid Ericson. Countless times Captain Ericson steered the ocean liner m/s Gripsholm into New York’s harbour. It was aboard this ship that Estrid and Sigfrid met for the first time.
Josef Frank “Aristidia” textile on Linen (above).
A bold pattern for the time, it was the sea surrounding Falsterbo, Sweden, that inspired Josef Frank to design this pattern which he originally called Tång. The name is derived from the Swedish word for seaweed and in this design Frank has included sections of the sea with seaweed and starfish. The name Tång was later changed to Aristidia, after Aristides, the Greek writer who flourished 150-100 B.C.
Josef Frank “Rox & Fix” pillow (above).
This pattern was designed in the beginning of the 1940s, but was printed for the first time in 1994. The motif, with its pointed mountain silhouettes, uses contours that draw the eye deeper and deeper into the pattern. This approach to design is common within Chinese art, and it was a visit to the Chinese section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that inspired this pattern (below).
Hope you enjoyed this extended look into the life and work of textile designer Josef Frank, if you love this and all things patterns and textiles, check out my pattern board on Pinterest. Get into it!