Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Paul Klee tapestry

Before we went to Chicago. I had done a search to see what tapestries the Chicago Art Institute might have. As it turned out, all textiles were in storage except one, in preparation for an upcoming exhibit. But the one tapestry I was most curious to see was the one above. And I don't even believe it was a handwoven tapestry. It was mass produced by Montgomery Wards (!) to commemorate their 100th anniversary in 1972.

The title is "Der Paukenspieler" (The Drummer Boy) and it was done from a 1940 painting by Paul Klee. It was a gift to the museum from Montgomery Wards, and is one of 2500. It is described as "Cotton, jute and wool, plain weave with discontinuous supplementary pile warps [really? warps?] forming cut solid pile." It is 59 5/8 by 29 3/8 inches.

Doing a Google search, I found that there are still the other 2499 of these 'tapestries' out there somewhere! They have sold at auction in the past few years for a few hundred dollars. Paul Klee is one of my favorite artists, and I am yearning to find one of these for myself!! I think it is a really odd, but delightfully odd, thing for a US department store to have created for the commemoration of an anniversary - to mass produce a tapestry (!) designed by Paul Klee (!).

For some reason, that encourages me.

If you happen to see one of these somewhere, give me a holler!


ringadal said...

How intriguing. We have a family friend who is an art collector. He has a tapestry by Salvador Dali. I think it is in the same vein as this Paul Klee tapestry. It was a woven piece made of natural yarn, then somehow printed with the image from that drooping clock painting. It was signed by him and apparently came out of his workshop, but my friend was not sure how or why it was produced as a tapestry. Interesting, huh!

Paco said...

I have one, I'd have to go downstairs to check the number. My Dad was an exec for MW and they were given to the executive team for various rewards at the time. Unfortunately I would not sell mine.