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Curtain Up

A work made of cotton and linen, plain weave; screen printed.
Courtesy of Francesca Galloway Ltd

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  • A work made of cotton and linen, plain weave; screen printed.




Designed by Shirley Craven (British, 1934–2019)
Manufactured by Hull Traders (1957-1980), London then Trawden, Lancashire

About this artwork

Shirley Craven’s Curtain Up (1970) imaginatively envisions the dramatic lifting of a theater curtain trimmed in fringe or possibly the swing of a beaded door curtain. The sharp rectilinear forms along the sides of the print suggest a proscenium or doorframe, while the curving lines visualize the raising of a tassel-trimmed, velvet drapery or the parting of long strands of beads. The vibrant and mind-bending pattern exemplifies the experimental and eclectic merging of aesthetic influences that characterized British design in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

During her 20-year tenure as chief designer for Hull Traders, Craven commissioned and produced hundreds of designs, many of which won industry awards as well as sustained commercial success. The seasonal collections she built for the firm included work from artists such as Linda Harper, Althea McNish, and Peter McCulloch. In the early years of her leadership, design and architecture publications highlighted Hull Traders textiles, and in 1962 Official Architecture and Planning lauded the designs for their “complete swing over to the abstract.”


Currently Off View




Shirley Craven (Designer) , Hull Traders Ltd. (Manufacturer)


Curtain Up


United Kingdom (Artist's nationality:), England (Object made in)


Made 1970


Cotton and linen, plain weave; screen printed


256.2 × 131.4 cm (100 7/8 × 51 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Mary Ann Judy Endowment Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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