Sunday, October 24, 2010

Edna Martin

"Grandiflora", appliqué and embroidery wall hanging by Edna Martin
circa 1980's? (no date given)

While researching the voluminous (but largely unattributed and completely unorganized) embroidery folios at the Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, I came across the work of Swedish artist Edna Martin.

I have been unable to find much info about her online, but did turn up the above book cover published by Carlssons. If any Swedish readers are familiar with her, please drop me a line! I did manage to turn up this link and this link of a group show from 2003 at American Textile History Museum. Same Edna Martin?

ETA: I received a very kind email from Maria Lindgren in Sweden who translated this encyclopedia entry for me (and you):

Martin, Edna, née Johansson, 1908-2003, textile artist, made a Professor in 1980. She was artistic director of Svensk Hemslöjd (roughly translates to Swedish Crafts, an influential organisation started in 1899 to promote, support and develop the home crafts of the Swedish country population) 1945-51. Martin was senior professor of textile arts at the Royal College of the Arts 1957-69. In her role as manager and artistic director of Handarbetets Vänner (roughly translates to Society of Needlecrafts, an organisation formed in 1874 to specifically promote the textile crafts. It is alive and well today, with some respected training programmes) 1951-77 she renewed and vitalized the enterprise by uniting ancient weaving techniques with free-form art. She attached famous artists Sten Kauppi and Kaisa Melanton to the company and invited artists such as Lennart Rodhe and Siri Derkert (well-known enfant terrible of the Swedish art world) to produce originals used for textile monumental art. Her own creations consist of, for example, small, brilliantly coloured embroidery works, flamboyant “caparisons” and stringent, woven “glory quilts”.
Maria also said:
If you like Swedish style textile art, you might want to check out this link, and see if you take a fancy to anyone else!
How nice of her! Thank you, Maria!