Friday, August 9, 2013

Candace Wheeler - American Artist and Textile Designer

Candace Wheeler - American Artist and Textile Designer

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The Art and Enterprise on American Design, 1875-1900
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001

Candace Wheeler nee Thurber was born in NY State in 1827.

At the age of 49, having raised 4 children, she began a textile career as a designer

In 1877 Wheeler and a NY matron, Mrs. David Lane, formed The Society of Decorative Art of  NYC, instructing women in painting, porcelain and pottery, and decorative needlework..

In 1878 she founded the Women’s Exchange, which still offers for sale quality articles made by women at home, at nearly 40 locations.  I remember visiting the Women’s Exchange in Boston many years ago.

Partnering with Louis Comfort Tiffany as a textile expert in 1883, they and other decorative artists founded Associated Artists, an interior decorating firm, staffed entirely by women.  The firm closed in 1907.

Wheeler wrote many books on home decorating and embroidery, including her autobiography “Yesterdays in a Busy Life” at age 80.   

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   Content in a Garden
Boston & NY Houghton Mifflin & Co
The Riverside Press
Cambridge, 1901

In this volume Wheeler wrote of ideas to create a garden of flowers in bloom from June to October.  She personified her florals with human traits.

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