Hermès Supports Preservation of The Glass House with Elaine Lustig Cohen’s “Centered Rhyme” Silk Twill Scarf
February, 2017 – Hermès of Paris, Inc. is honored to introduce Centered Rhyme, a limited-edition 90x90cm silk twill scarf featuring a design by the late American artist Elaine Lustig Cohen (1927–2016). The design is based on a large-scale 1967 painting by the artist.
Elaine Lustig Cohen was highly regarded as a graphic designer, artist, and rare book dealer throughout her career, which spanned over fifty years. In 1955, she began her design work in New York by extending the idiom of European modernism into an American context for her diverse clientele of publishers, corporations, cultural institutions, and architects. Her first client was the renowned architect Philip Johnson (1906-2005) – creator of the celebrated Glass House (1949) in New Canaan, Connecticut – who commissioned her to design the lettering and signage for the iconic Seagram Building. The two forged an important bond that resulted in a variety of projects for the Glass House, Yale University, and Lincoln Center, among others. As a painter, Lustig Cohen developed a hard-edged style in the 1960s and 1970s that asserted the canvas’ flat surface. She continued to experiment with bold colors, linear patterning, and abstract shapes in a variety of media including collage and three-dimensional objects
Following a 2015 exhibition of the artist’s early paintings and graphic design at The Glass House, Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès, met the artist at her Manhattan home and conceived of a scarf based on one of her paintings; Centered Rhyme (1967). Pierre-Alexis and Elaine discovered a deep intellectual and philosophical connection while touring her remarkable personal collection of eclectic art and artifacts, including ancient printed silks.
The project was made in collaboration with The Glass House, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that in alignment with Hermès values is dedicated to the promotion of cultural and architectural preservation, artistry and craftsmanship.
The limited-edition Hermès 90cm x 90cm silk twill design, $395.00, will be presented in Lustig Cohen’s original coloration; crème/ jaune/ rose, and sold at select Hermès boutiques. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the preservation of this iconic modernist house.
About Elaine Lustig Cohen
Elaine Lustig Cohen (1927-2016) has been widely celebrated as a graphic designer, artist, art dealer, and archivist. Her multifaceted accomplishments encompass pioneering design projects that extended the aesthetic vocabulary of European modernism into an American context, including commissions with institutions, publishers, and architects such as Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Jewish Museum, New Directions, and architects Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, and Richard Meier; to exhibitions as an artist at the Grey Art Gallery, Bard College, Exit Art, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Galerie Denise Rene, Mary Boone Gallery, Julie Saul Gallery, P!, and The Glass House; to founding the influential Upper East Side bookstore Ex Libris, which specialized in 20th century avant-garde books, periodicals, ephemera, and posters. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, and she was the recipient of 2011 AIGA Medal for her life’s work in design. A multi-venue retrospective of her work, organized by Prem Krishnamurthy and Cole Akers, is planned for 2018–2019 in New York City.
Hermès was founded in 1837 as a maker of harnesses and saddles. Six generations of enterprising artisans have opened up new domains and conquered new markets imbued with respect for the past and enthusiasm for the future. A family owned company based in Paris, France, Hermès is managed by Chief Executive Officer Axel Dumas, a member of the sixth generation of the family. The artistic direction is led by Pierre-Alexis Dumas, also a member of the sixth generation. For further information about Hermès, Hermès products, and other store locations in the United States, please visit Hermès.com.
About Hermès Silk
The first Hermès “carré” or silk scarf “Jeu des omnibus et des dames blanches” was commissioned by Robert Dumas, member of the fourth generation in 1937. It is inspired by a parlor board game in the collection of artifacts assembled by Émile Hermès. Silk was not a novelty to the House; in the 19th century, jockeys had cast off their heavy riding coats for light silk shirts in the colors of horse owners. Colorful printed silk was adopted by Hermès as an elegant expression of equestrian heritage.
Since 1948, the engraving, weaving and printing of Hermès scarves has been performed in the Lyon region, the traditional home of French Silk. Over the past 76 years, teams of artists and designers have reinvented the silk square with original motifs recounting the history of Hermès and its links to fashion, to the arts, to cultures and traditions. With carefully hand rolled, hand stitched hems; the creation of the Hermès Carré reflects the story of decades of know-how, artistry, storytelling and tradition. Over the years the original 90x90cm format of the carré has evolved in size, style and material with a rich plentitude of designs and options for men and women, resulting in over 2,000 designs in over 75,000 specially created colors.
About the Glass House
The Glass House, built between 1949 and 1995 by architect Philip Johnson, is a National Trust Historic Site located in New Canaan, Connecticut. The pastoral 49-acre landscape comprises fourteen structures, including the Glass House (1949), and features a permanent collection of 20th-century painting and sculpture, along with temporary exhibitions. Tours of the site are available in May through November and advance reservations are required. theglasshouse.org
About The National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to protect America’s historic places for the education and enjoyment of future generations.
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