Josef Frank: Patterns Furniture Painting
28 January – 7 May 2017
The first-ever UK exhibition of the Austrian's vivid textiles, furniture design and watercolours.
Josef Frank's early career was spent in Vienna, where his abilities as both an architect and designer led him to become a partner at a successful interiors firm. But it wasn't until moving to Sweden in 1933 and meeting fellow designer and entrepreneur Estrid Ericson that he produced his finest work. Together the pair created 2,000 furniture sketches and 160 textile prints, glassware, metalwork and interior design ideas that helped define Swedish Modernism.
In the face of the bleakness that defined the interwar and Second World War years, Frank created dazzling, optimistic designs filled with birds, butterflies and flowers, all living in harmony side by side. He was a functionalist, but he also believed that a home should feel cosy and comfortable and always be adapted to meet the wishes of its residents.
On display at the museum are examples of his work in textile, wallpaper, carpet and furniture, as well as the lesser-known watercolours he produced in the later part of his life.
In 1951 Frank and Ericson were commissioned to design the interior of 'Anne's house', which sculptor Carl Milles had recently had built in the grounds of his estate for his secretary Anne Hedmark to live in. Using plans, drawings and photographs of the house, the museum has recreated the interiors so that the textile designs and furniture can be seen in situ.