Arthur Silver (1853-1896) was apprenticed to the furniture designer H. W. Batley in the 1870s and in 1880 started the Silver Studio to produce repeating patterns for wallpapers textiles and floor coverings as well as plasterwork, stencils, metalwork and tradecards. Silver's two sons Rex and Harry joined the studio and worked alongside some of the most most successful commercial designers of the the time including Napper, Kay, and Archibald Knox. The studio was renowned for its distinctive Art Nouveau style but it supplied work in a wide range of styles. It supplied patterns for wallpapers to Jeffrey & Co., Woollams and Charles Knowles & Co. and patterns for fabrics to Warner & Sons, Liberty & Co., Alexander Morton and G. P. & J. Baker amongst others. — Arts & Crafts Textiles in Britain.

Maggie Wood, Assistant Curator at the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture at Middlesex University (UK) wrote in November 2007 to let us know that her institution houses the Silver Studio Collection. According to the stite,

The Silver Studio Collection is the archive of one of Britain's leading commercial design studios active between 1880 and 1963. The Silver Studio was always responsive to the fashions and tastes of the moment, designing in all the major styles such as the flat stylised Art Nouveau of the late nineteenth century, as well as the perennially popular traditional and historical idiom. Its work provides a vivid insight into pattern design in the English home between 1880 and 1960. The Collection contains over 40,000 original designs on paper, 5,000 wallpaper samples, 5,000 textile samples and the Studio's working records. The Collection is a fascinating resource for anyone interested in the workings of a commercial design practice. But it is also an invaluable record of the domestic decorating choices made by a broad section of the mass market over the early years of the twentieth century. The Silver Studio closed in the 1960s, and the contents were given to the then Hornsey College of Art. This subsequently became part of Middlesex University. With the help of Heritage Lottery money a new building to house this and MoDA's other collections was opened in 2000.

Textile Designs for Silver Studio

References

Arts & Crafts Textiles in Britain. Exhibition Catalogue. The Fine Art Society in Association with Francesca Galloway, nd.


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Last modified 21 March 2013