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The Textile Museum’s exhibit “Art by the Yard: Women Design Mid-Century Britain” gives equal billing to the work of Lucienne Day, Jacqueline Groag, and Marian Mahler, but the bulk of the exhibit is devoted to Day. Her 1951 textile “Calyx” set the tone for modernist home furnishings for the rest of the decade, but her work progressed in lockstep with the times: Her early textiles feature organic leaves and flowers rendered in muted colors, whereas her ‘60s and ‘70s work is groovier, with bold, graphic patterns and a bright color palate. Some of Day’s textiles are displayed alongside the furniture of her husband, Robin—his work shares its clean lines and pared-down functionality with Ray and Charles Eames’. The selection of Mahler’s and Groag’s fabrics is much smaller, but no less interesting—the cross-hatched circles in Mahler’s “Untitled (Bird Chair)” suggest Bertoia chairs. And if you find yourself regularly lamenting D.C.’s dearth of authentic, ’50s-style diners, Groag’s textiles, reminiscent of formica tables, should give you a flashback.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. TUESDAY TO SATURDAY AND 1 P.M. TO 5 P.M. SUNDAY TO SEPTEMBER 12 AT THE TEXTILE MUSEUM, 2320 S ST. NW. $5 SUGGESTED DONATION. (202) 667-0441.