Liberty of London: Masters of Style and Decoration

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For more than one hundred years the name Liberty of London has been synonymous with the highest achievements in the decorative arts - from fabric to furniture, from carpets to ceramics. A great trading company is always affected by changes in fashion; what gives this one its remarkable distinction is that it has not just followed these changes but helped to create them since 1875. Arthur Lasenby Liberty, its founder, set out to transform the dress and interior decoration of his day; that sense of excitement and ...
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Overview

For more than one hundred years the name Liberty of London has been synonymous with the highest achievements in the decorative arts - from fabric to furniture, from carpets to ceramics. A great trading company is always affected by changes in fashion; what gives this one its remarkable distinction is that it has not just followed these changes but helped to create them since 1875. Arthur Lasenby Liberty, its founder, set out to transform the dress and interior decoration of his day; that sense of excitement and innovation has remained integral to his company to this day and continues to appeal to a wide international clientele, making Liberty one of the few names in retailing known worldwide. This full account of Liberty's accomplishments in the applied arts is therefore also a central history of design over the past century. Organized chronologically and profusely illustrated, it begins with Arthur Liberty's early emporium, selling oriental textiles and imported furnishings, then covers the Aesthetic movement, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, the decorative twenties and thirties, and the revivalism of the fifties and sixties. It ends with a survey of Liberty's current exploration of international modern design. Each section is written by an expert on the relevant period. The Arts and Crafts movement found Liberty fully established and pursuing the enlightened commissioning that associated the shop with leading craftsmen and designers. After the First World War textiles became the major focus of Liberty trading. In the post-war era, numerous revivals, notably those of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, were given considerable impetus by Liberty. Now, in keeping with its role as innovator, the firm continues to commission the world's most exciting textile designers and to promote furniture and decorative objects in both avant-garde and traditional styles. Edited by Stephen Calloway, the eminent historian of design and decoration, this is a unique history of a unique enterpr
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Founded in 1875, Liberty of London has long been synonymous with all that is most stylish in fashion and decor. Calloway, a historian of design and decoration and author of several titles on the decorative arts ( 20th-Century Decoration , Rizzoli, 1988), here treats long-term shopping patterns at this key retailer as cultural history. Liberty's influences on 20th-century design are detailed by subject specialists, who discuss textiles, costume, furniture, metalwork, ceramics, and glass. The house's impact on tastes during its early years; the Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco periods; the Revivalism of the 1950s and 1960s; and today are also examined. This beautifully photographed book is recommended for decorative arts collections in large public and academic libraries.-- Judith Yankielun Lind, Roseland Free P.L., N.J.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821219744
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 11/1/1992
  • Edition description: 1st North American ed
  • Pages: 224

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