Fresh, modern, optimistic—the textile designs of the artist Vera Neumann captured the spirit of midcentury America. But more than that, Vera was a pioneering entrepreneur, founding one of the world’s first juggernaut lifestyle brands. An exuberant new Schumacher collection championing her work shows why her vision is as compelling as ever.
In 1943, at the age of 35, Vera Neumann and her husband, George, launched their textile business from the kitchen of their Manhattan apartment, using a silk screen hand-built to fit their dining table to print linen placemats that were then cured in their oven. The items immediately flew off the shelves.
to design their printing facility and showrooms, as well as their own home—
they shared Breuer’s Bauhaus philosophy that art should be available to all and incorporated into the everyday. By the 1970s, they’d converted that notion
into a $70 million-plus business, turning out an ever-increasing range of goods that included bedding, clothing, tableware, and, of course, Vera’s signature silk scarves.
mass appeal while still conveying a close connection to the hand. Says Elissa Auther, curator of a major exhibition about Vera opening this fall at New York City’s Museum of Art and Design, “Vera translated the most current design trends for a broad audience who were craving the integration of modern art
and design into their lives.”
in her irrepressible designs.
Produced by Georgia Parker. Written by Emily Evans Eerdmans.