6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today click here

The impact Lucienne Day’s textiles had in brightening up homes

PUBLISHED: 10:34 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:34 11 April 2017

Lucienne Day in New York in 1952 with her best-selling textile design Calyx © The Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation/Photographer: Studio Briggs

Lucienne Day in New York in 1952 with her best-selling textile design Calyx © The Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation/Photographer: Studio Briggs

Archant

Dr Paula Day reflects on the positive impact Lucienne Day’s upbeat modern everyday textiles had in brightening up homes across post-war Britain, as her centenary is celebrated at a special exhibition at Arts University Bournemouth

My mother, Lucienne Day (1917 – 2010), completed her textiles training at the Royal College of Art, London in 1940. She began her design career as soon as the Second World War ended, but it was only at the Festival of Britain in 1951 that she achieved her career breakthrough with her strikingly ‘Contemporary’ textile Calyx, which became a world bestseller.

For the next 25 years she was Heal’s star textile designer, producing a whole raft of vibrant prints – such as Graphica, Dandelion Clocks, Spectators, Trio and Magnetic – which have become iconic. She was approached by numerous other companies in Britain and abroad, and responded to the challenge of designing patterns for all kinds of applications including wallpapers for Rasch and WPM, carpets for Tomkinson’s and Wilton Royal, tea towels for Thomas Somerset and china tableware for Rosenthal. In 1962 she and my father, furniture designer Robin Day, were appointed joint Design Consultants to John Lewis. In their 25 years with the company they implemented a transformation of the house style.

When she was in her sixties my mother gave up industrial design to develop a new art form, the silk mosaic. These one-off wall-hangings, hand-stitched by her assistants from tiny squares of richly coloured silk, were widely exhibited and still grace the walls of public buildings all over the world. In 1987 she became the first-ever woman Master of Royal Designers for Industry, and she was awarded an OBE in 2004. In a lifetime of dedicated design practice, she created a body of work which is still vital, and is steadily coming back into commercial production to excite and inspire a new generation.

In 2012 I set up the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation, a design education charity dedicated to furthering public knowledge of and access to their design legacies. We are fortunate to enjoy close links with Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) through our locally-based Trustee, Mary Mullin, and AUB Chancellor Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, who is also our Patron. We are immensely grateful to AUB for hosting and realising the inaugural exhibition of the Lucienne Day Centenary Year in their fine gallery. I hope visitors will come away with a new appreciation of the rich variety and quality of my mother’s work, and of her personal achievement in a career spanning six decades.

Find out more at robinandluciennedayfoundation.org

More…

What’s in store for Dorset’s property market in 2017 - Stamp duty changes and Brexit all impacted on the UK property market, but how has it affected Dorset? Andy Greeves gets the views of some of the county’s leading estate agents

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

12:24

Pete Scott juggles running a building business and his charity work with a passion for photographing the Dorset landscape

Read more
Thursday, April 13, 2017

What is it like to own one of the most iconic geological features on the Jurassic Coast? James Weld talks to Faith Eckersall about the highs and lows of caring for this national landmark which is part of the Lulworth Estate

Read more
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dr Paula Day reflects on the positive impact Lucienne Day’s upbeat modern everyday textiles had in brightening up homes across post-war Britain, as her centenary is celebrated at a special exhibition at Arts University Bournemouth

Read more
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Steve Fletcher looks back on six incredible matches that AFC Bournemouth has been involved in since they joined the Premier League in 2015

Read more
Monday, March 27, 2017

Tony Harding is a landscape gardener based in Dorchester who has a lifelong passion for photography, which these days he does on the spur of the moment

Read more
Monday, March 20, 2017

Maude & Fox combine British tweed with cool contemporary styling to give this heritage fabric a high fashion makeover you’ll fall in love with, as Helen Fisher discovers

Read more
Monday, March 13, 2017

Jenny Kretz, Chair and Founder of Home-Start North Dorset reflects on the important role this local charity plays in supporting vulnerable parents who are struggling for a wide variety of reasons

Read more
Friday, March 10, 2017

A great meal starts with great ingredients, says Loic Gratadoux, Executive Head Chef at the Harbar Bistro. His policy is simple: if food is not fresh and in season, it’s not on the menu

Read more
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

To celebrate International Women’s Day in March, Dorset Magazine turns the spotlight on some of the county’s most influential business women

Read more
Friday, March 3, 2017

To celebrate International Women’s Day in March, Dorset Magazine turns the spotlight on some of the county’s most influential business women

Read more
Thursday, March 2, 2017

Fletch reflects on how his love for football and his association with AFC Bournemouth began

Read more
Thursday, March 2, 2017

Independent Financial Planner, Zanne St John Marchmont, explains why women need to take their own financial planning seriously to protect themselves and their family

Read more
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

If squash is a game of physical chess, rock climbing is as close as we come to flying: risk, effort and exhilaration.

Read more
Monday, February 27, 2017

Rebecca Perl meets four inspirational ‘mumpreneurs’ and finds out their secret for creating a flexible and successful business that works with family life

Read more

Local People

12:24

Pete Scott juggles running a building business and his charity work with a passion for photographing the Dorset landscape

Read full story »
Thursday, April 13, 2017

What is it like to own one of the most iconic geological features on the Jurassic Coast? James Weld talks to Faith Eckersall about the highs and lows of caring for this national landmark which is part of the Lulworth Estate

Read full story »
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dr Paula Day reflects on the positive impact Lucienne Day’s upbeat modern everyday textiles had in brightening up homes across post-war Britain, as her centenary is celebrated at a special exhibition at Arts University Bournemouth

Read full story »
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Steve Fletcher looks back on six incredible matches that AFC Bournemouth has been involved in since they joined the Premier League in 2015

Read full story »
Monday, March 27, 2017

Tony Harding is a landscape gardener based in Dorchester who has a lifelong passion for photography, which these days he does on the spur of the moment

Read full story »