A text + work touring exhibition
Curated by Professor Emma Hunt and Dr. 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 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 Day’s prolific output of patterns for furnishing and dress fabrics, table linen, carpets, wallpapers and ceramics. The exhibition includes current and recent productions of Day’s designs, demonstrating the continuing vitality of her design legacy.
In January 2017, Lucienne Day: Living Design launched a year-long nationwide programme of exhibitions, events, awards and collaboration across leading cultural organisations, galleries and creative institutions in partnership with The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation.
This very well-received exhibition has drawn visitors from all over the UK and engaged schools through numerous talks, workshops and visits. It has also attracted national press coverage, including articles in Elle Decoration, The Lady Magazine and Telegraph Magazine.
Meet the curators: Professor Emma HUNT AND dr. PAULA DAY
Professor Emma Hunt
Emma Hunt is Deputy Vice Chancellor at the Arts University Bournemouth.
She originally trained as a design historian with special interests in mid to late twentieth century British design. She was particularly interested in the role of small organisations and design identity in support of manufacture, such as The Festival of Britain, Poole Pottery, the Design and Industries Association, and the Electrical Association for Women. The commercial aspects of design led to other research interests concerned with management, including design in higher education.
Emma has held posts at the University of Huddersfield, Derby University, and AUB’s former incarnation of the Arts Institute, alongside visiting roles at Chelsea School of Art and Winchester School of Art.
Dr. Paula Day
Paula Day was born in London in 1954, the only child of designers Robin and Lucienne Day.
She read English Literature at Cambridge and then moved to Cumbria, taking a Doctorate at Lancaster University in 1990. For many years she ran her own business pioneering mountain walking holidays for women from her hillside home.
She is a garden designer, poet and writer with a passion for singing and poetry in performance. Paula is the author of a book of poetry Tree, published in 2013 and dedicated to her parents. After her parents died she set up a design education charity, the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation, to care for their work and pass on their design legacies as an inspiration for future generations.
The exhibition is available for tour. For enquiries and further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
24 Sept 2019 – 11 January 2020
Willis Museum & Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke, Hampshire
Since 1984, the Willis Museum has been housed in the early Victorian building that was once Basingstoke’s Town Hall. It is named after George Willis, a local clockmaker, antiquarian and former Mayor of Basingstoke, who became the first honorary curator when the original museum was established in the Mechanics Institute in New Street in 1931.
12 January – 22 March 2017
TheGallery, Arts University Bournemouth
TheGallery hosted and created the Lucienne Day: Living Design exhibition in collaboration with The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation.
1 July – 30 September 2017
Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster, Worcestershire
This exhibition will be part of Kidderminster Arts Festival 12-27 August 2017
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.
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.
13 January – 4 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, Gloucestershire
New Brewery Arts has been championing craft in the Cotswolds since 1978, offering a wide range of courses and workshops and an exhibition gallery dedicated to showing the best of British craft. New Brewery Arts is run by a small team with experience of working within the arts, education, retail and charity sectors, supported by their Trustees.
19 July – 15 September 2018
Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle, Republic of Ireland
Dublin Castle was originally developed as a medieval fortress under the orders of King Jon of England. This Gothic Revival structure, bristling with pinnacles on the outside and rich with ornamental features within, the castle provided a place of worship for the household. It remains one of the architectural highlights of Georgian Dublin today. With its mock-Gothic stone façade, the Coach House was built in 1833 to house the coach and horses and is now a converted exhibition space.
29 September – 10 November 2018
F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio, Banbridge, Northern Ireland
The F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio is dedicated to the memory of sculptor Frederick Edward McWilliam, one of Ireland’s most influential and successful artists. F.E. McWilliam was born in Banbridge on the 30th April 1909. Featuring a permanent display of McWilliam’s work, temporary exhibitions of Irish and international art, the gallery attracts a wide range of local, national and international visitors.
- Image – Delving into the life of Lucienne Day in a new exhibition, one of the first “celebrity designers”
- Irish Times – Prints charming – how Lucienne Day created the pattern of modern Britain
- Irish Times Podcast with Emma Hunt and Mary V. Mullin – Ep 234 Lost Letters of William Woolf & Textile Queen Lucienne Day
- RTE interview with Paula Day – will be available soon
- The Times – The Edit
- VIP Magazine – Art Fans
- Meath Chronicle – Touring exhibition celebrates Lucienne Day
- The Gloss Magazine – 5 Things to Do This Weekend
- The Independent Diary
- The Linen Biennale Northern Ireland – Opening of ‘Lucienne Day: Living Design’ in Dublin Castle
- RTE – In The Picture: Lucienne Day: Living Design
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.
Lucienne 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 and MOMA
The Victoria and Albert Museum has 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 is 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 Museum of Modern Art, New York, is currently displaying a number of works by Robin and Lucienne Day from their permanent collection as part of the exhibition The Value of Good Design.
The exhibition includes Lucienne Day’s Spectators (1953) and Mezzanine (1958) textile designs and a rare surviving example of the original Lounge Chairs designed by Robin Day for the opening of London’s Royal Festival Hall in 1951.
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.
FEatured publication and poster
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 or in TheGallery Office.
Lucienne Day 100 Designs Poster
Designed by Studio Fernando Gutierrez, this poster was originally designed and printed for the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation to celebrate the centenary of Lucienne Day.
Lucienne Day 100 Designs features previously unpublished images of Lucienne Day’s work as well as portraits from the Foundation’s photograph archive, providing a fitting tribute to one of Britain’s foremost designers.
Printed on 200gsm matt coated paper
Dimensions: 50 x 70cm. Comes in poster tube.
Available for purchase from the AUB online store or in TheGallery Office.
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.