About this artwork
Festive orbs in yellow, red, and brown at the ends of thin angled lines suggest the sparking bursts of light that erupt when a roman candle combusts. Joel Robinson’s stylized interpretation of the popular firework conveys a celebratory sensibility, while also hinting at the precision associated with his architectural training. Roman Candles was used as upholstery fabric for a chair included in the 1951 Chicago Good Design show at the Merchandise Mart. Designed for the firm of L. Anton Maix, it was one of at least two patterns that Robinson designed that year. Also included in the 1951 collection was Ovals, which featured prominently in the Museum of Modern Art’s Good Design installation from that same year. The Good Design exhibitions, a partnership project between the Merchandise Mart and MoMA, sought to showcase the “best designed new products” defined as “Design intended for present-day life, in regard to usefulness, to production methods and materials and to the progressive taste of the day.” Although Robinson garners little mention today in art and design history books, during the 1950s, his modern fabric designs proved popular and were included in the 1951, 1952, and 1955 Good Design exhibitions.
Currently Off View
- Joel Robinson (Designer) , L. Anton Maix Fabrics (Producer)
- Roman Candles
- New York (Object made in)
- Made 1947-1955
- Linen, plain weave; screen printed
- Selvedge: 'Roman Candles' by Joel Robinson / Patt. Rep. 9"
- 182.9 × 128.3 cm (72 × 50 1/2 in.)
- Mr. and Mrs. William W. McKittrick Endowment Fund