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Curators unveil two unseen Warhol textiles

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Curators of the ‘Artist Textiles – Picasso to Warhol’ exhibition at New Lanark World Heritage Site have unveiled two unseen Warhol exhibits which have never been exhibited before either in the UK or internationally.

There are four pieces of clothing made from printed silk textiles designed by Andy Warhol in the exhibition, all relatively new discoveries, with two of them never having been exhibited before.

Stehli Silks

Two dresses printed with large ice cream cones, previously exhibited, and the candy apple blouse are all part of a group of food related designs that were printed by Stehli Silks. Stehli, who produced the seminal 'Americana'  series of textiles in the 1920s, that included designs by the photographer Edward Steichen, had a long history of commissioning artists and illustrators.

Andy Warhol gave several rolls of his Stehli designs to his friend Stephen Bruce, owner of Serendipity3, the New York restaurant and boutique. Serendipity3 specialised in classic American food, and were famous for their 'foot long hot dogs' and elaborate ice cream desserts. Bruce had recently set up a wholesale fashion business on the first floor above the restaurant, and used these fabrics as part of a fashion collection that included a shift dress of giant pretzels that now resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

A new discovery

Bruce still retains a photograph of another dress from this collection, made from the ice cream cone silk, but no example of the design was known to exist, until the recent discovery of these two dresses printed in two different colour-ways. The candy apple silk blouse made by the New York company Adelaar, is a companion Warhol Stehli food related design, and has never been exhibited before, either in the UK or internationally.

The second piece never to have been exhibited before is a dress made with Warhol's button design textile for Leon Rosenblatt, although a multi-coloured length of cotton is already part of Artist Textiles.

Artist Textiles exhibition

New Lanark, an 18th century cotton-spinning Mill Village and one of Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the venue for the exhibition, which traces the history of 20th century art in textiles with highlights including prints of work by Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.

The exhibition will be at New Lanark World Heritage Site from 26 January – 29 April 2018. Tickets are available to the public from the New Lanark website.

(images copyright Neil Hanna Photography)

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