Touring exhibition – Lucienne Day: Living Design

Exhibition in Other locations (Touring)

Touring Exhibition

Curated by Professor Emma Hunt and Dr. Paula Day

The 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 for curtains, dress fabrics and tea towels, demonstrating the continuing vitality of Lucienne’s design legacy.

Lucienne Day: Living Design launched a year-long nationwide programme of exhibitions, events, award and collaboration for 2017 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.

Touring Venues

The exhibition is available for tour from July 2017 and now open to expressions of interest from potential partner venues. For enquiries and further information please contact:

Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster, Worcestershire
July to September 2017

Vertical Gallery, Manchester School of Art, Manchester
7 October to 20 November 2017

Slot Available: December 2017 to February 2018

New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, Gloustershire
March 2018 to May 2018

Slot Available: June, July, August 2018:  BOOKED

Slot Available: September, October, November 2018: BOOKED 

Slot Available: November, December 2018 January, February 2019


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

The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation

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 the integrity of Robin and Lucienne Day’s original designs is maintained throughout endorsement and licensing of productions.

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.