Touring exhibition – Lucienne Day: Living Design

Exhibition in Other locations (Touring)

A text + work touring exhibition

Curated by Emma Hunt and Paula Day

This exhibition celebrates the life and work of one of most influential designers of the post-war generation, Lucienne Day.

Lucienne Day: Living Design tells 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.

Photographs show the lead up to her career breakthrough at the Festival of Britain 1951, with her pioneering ‘contemporary’ design Calyx. They also evidence Lucienne’s prolific output of patterns for furnishing and dress fabrics, table linen, carpets, wallpapers and ceramics. The exhibition includes current and recent productions of Lucienne’s designs, demonstrating the continuing vitality of Lucienne’s design legacy.

In January 2017, Lucienne Day: Living Design launched a year-long nationwide programme of exhibitions, events, award and collaboration across leading cultural organisations, galleries and creative institutions in partnership with The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation.

This highly well-received exhibition has drawn visitors from all over the UK, received national press coverage and engaged schools through numerous talks, workshops and visits.

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Touring Venues

The exhibition is available for tour, for enquiries and further information please contact:


1 July – 30 September 2017
Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster, Worcestershire

The Museum of Carpet is dedicated to the history of Kidderminster with a particular emphasis on the carpet industry. It holds an extensive archive collection and library, including original carpet designs by Lucienne Day and hosts a number of temporary exhibitions.  The Carpet Museum was established by The Carpet Museum Trust  and is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund.

This exhibition will be part of Kidderminster Arts Festival 12-27 August 2017

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11 October – 20 November 2017
Vertical Gallery, Manchester School of Art, Manchester

Lucienne Day at the Vertical Gallery is part of Design Manchester 2017.

The Vertical Gallery in the Manchester School of Art showcases the work of Manchester School of Art staff and students throughout the year.The Gallery has four levels each occupied by exhibition decks and its sheer visibility signalises the openness of the space while encouraging interest in the creative work that goes on. In a modern interpretation by Feilden Clegg Bradley, the typology takes its inspiration from the traditional warehouses of Manchester’s 19th- century heyday centred on the textile trade.

13 January – 20 March 2018
The Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, Oxfordshire

The museum is situated in a beautiful 18th century house in the heart of Woodstock. It is home to eleven permanent galley exhibitions with many featuring the history of the county of Oxfordshire through collections of art and archaeology.

17 March – 20 May 2018
New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, Gloustershire

Since 1972 the Brewery Arts Centre has hosted an array of vibrant artistic events with many famous names gracing the art spaces. The centre is run by a small team with a wealth of experience of working within the arts, education, retail and charity sectors. Over the years, they have worked to evolve the centre to become one of the most important education centres for the arts in the North West with a programme of arts based learning.


Lucienne Day was one of Britain’s most pioneering textile designers, who brought contemporary colour to an otherwise drab post war Britain. Born in 1917, she graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1940 and married her designer husband, Robin Day, in 1942. One of her most famous designs, Calyx, was designed for the Homes and Gardens Pavilion at the Festival of Britain in 1951 and launched her design career.

From that moment on Lucienne designed fabrics, wallpapers, ceramics and rugs on a commercial basis until later in her life when she focused more on one-off designs for her silk mosaics.

Lucinne Day's Career Highlights

• 1951 – Designed Calyx textile for the Festival of Britain
• 1952 – Won the International Design Award of the American Institute of Decorators
• 1954 – Won the Gran Premio prize at the Milan Triennale
• 1957 – Won a Design Centre Award for Tesserae carpet, produced by Tomkinson’s
• 1960 – Won a Design Centre Award for Iinen tea towels, produced by Thomas Somerset
• 1960s – Designed the interiors for BOAC’s fleet of Super VC10 aircraft with Robin Day
• 1962 – Elected a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI)
• 1962 – Appointed as joint design consultant with Robin Day by John Lewis
• 1981 – Solo silk mosaics exhibition at Lyttelton Gallery, National Theatre, London
• 1983 – Solo silk mosaics exhibition at Rohsska Museum, Gothenberg, Sweden
• 1987 – Elected first woman Master of Royal Designers for Industry
• 1991 – Created largest silk mosaic Aspects of the Sun for John Lewis, Kingston
• 1992 – Appointed as the first Honorary President of the Textile Society
• 2004 – Awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E)
• 2005- Awarded the Worshipful Company of Weavers’ Silver Medal for outstanding contribution to textile design
• 2009 – Received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Brighton along with Robin Day

Lucienne Day at the V&A

The Victoria and Albert Museum have recently published an online collection, celebrating the life and work of Lucienne Day.

Included in the collection are two comprehensive articles: Lucienne Day – an introduction, edited by Dr. Paula Day and Lucienne Day’s silk mosaics, written by Dr. Paula Day

The V&A are currently working with the Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation to relocate the silk mosaics, which were sold around the world, while re-visiting and photographing their own archived series of Lucienne Day silk mosaics.

The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation

The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation is an independent charity established and chaired by Paula Day. It promotes the work of Robin and Lucienne Day and provides public access to their design legacies along with supporting the knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the UK’s design heritage in general.

The Foundation own the intellectual property rights for the works of Robin and Lucienne Day and ensure that the integrity of Robin and Lucienne Day’s original designs is maintained throughout all endorsement and licensing of productions.

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Featured Publication

Lucienne Day: Living Design
Published by text + work, TheGallery, AUB
2017, Soft cover with images. ISBN 9780901196743

Publication includes contributions by Professor Emma Hunt and Dr. Paula Day

Available for purchase from the AUB online store.

Background image: (detail) Artwork for Silver Birch furnishing fabric, Lucienne Day, Heal’s Wholesale & Export, 1958. Courtesy of The Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation. Photograph: John Lewis. John Lewis Partnerships Archives. Pattern Numbern: S7188.