News

Food For Thought  (detail), 1936

Food For Thought (detail), 1936

“Designing for Dining: Tablescapes from Napoleon til Now,” Associated Press News, October 14, 2018, https://www.apnews.com/010445335be144b3a54d7b6654a12f3f
The American designer [Marguerita Mergentime] is best known for her bright modernist tablecloths and napkins from 1934 until her death in 1941. They were highlighted in popular magazines of the time and sold in upscale department stores. “They are really about the communal side of dining, and many of them are designed to be conversation starters,” says [Matilda] McQuaid. Stylish and witty, many of Mergentime’s pieces feature quizzes or other conversation starters. The 1939 tablecloth “Food Quiz,” for example, includes the printed phrase: “Do you dish the dirt before you dish the soup?”


Press

Pioneering Artist Rediscovered with Help from Granddaughter She Never Met,”
New York Post, March 15, 2019, https://nypost.com/2019/03/14/pioneering-artist-rediscovered-with-help-from-granddaughter-she-never-met/

“A Redux for Marguerita Mergentime,” New York Times, March 7, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/style/panorama-hope-beyond-darkness.html

“From the Dinner Table to the Display Case: Case Study of a Napkin,” Kira Eng Wilmot, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, December 21, 2018, https://www.cooperhewitt.org/2018/12/21/from-the-dinner-table-to-museum-display-case-study-of-a-napkin/

During New York Textile Month in September, 2018, Virginia Bayer, Marguerita’s granddaughter, gave a talk, “The Power of Cloth: Marguerita Mergentime,” as part of the day-long Iconic Textiles program. Bayer spoke on Marguerita’s career and her 1930s table linens that were revolutionary in their bold colors and unusual subject matter.
“Radical Cloth,” Virginia Bayer, Talking Textiles, New York Textile Month 3, 2018, http://www.textilemonth.nyc/vol-3/

“For Gourmet Gurus: Lively Linens,” New York Post Holiday Gift Guide, November 21, 2018, https://nypost.com/2018/11/21/2018-holiday-gift-guide-for-everyone-on-your-luxury-list/

“Spencerian Horses,” Susan Brown, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, October 17, 2018, https://www.cooperhewitt.org/2018/10/17/spencerian-horses/

“What to Give: Books on Design,” Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2017

“A Modern Image,” Metropolis, September 2017, https://www.metropolismag.com/design/marguerita-mergentime-book/

“Marguerita Mergentime,” Cover, Autumn 2017

“Read” column, Selvedge, September/October 2017

“A Bed for Living,” Elizabeth Scheuer, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, August 31, 2017, https://www.cooperhewitt.org/2017/08/31/title-tk-daybed/

“The Whimsical Designs of a Forgotten American Icon,” Food52, August 3, 2017, https://food52.com/blog/20202-marguerita-mergentime-new-book

“Indelible Inks,” Elle Decor, July/August 2017

“Finding Marguerita,” Linda Florio, Design Observer, June 21, 2017,
http://designobserver.com/feature/finding-marguerita/39598

“Marguerita Mergentime: Inventing Tablecloths,” Virginia Bayer, Modern Magazine, Summer 2017, 
http://modernmag.com/marguerita-mergentime-inventing-tablecloths/

“Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas,” Artbook &
Edited by Donna Ghelerter. Foreword by Madelyn Shaw. Text by Virginia Bayer, Linda Florio, Donna Ghelerter. http://www.artbook.com/9780692768273.html

“Textiled,” Steven Heller, Print Magazine, April 18, 2017,
http://www.printmag.com/daily-heller/textiled-marguerita-mergentime/

“Joyful Interiors, Rediscovering the Textiles of Marguerita Mergentime,”
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
May 10, 2017, Virginia Bayer, Linda Florio, and Donna Ghelerter in conversation with Matilda McQuaid, Deputy Curatorial Director & Head of Textiles, https://www.cooperhewitt.org/2017/05/10/joyful-interiors-rediscovering-the-textiles-of-marguerita-mergentime/

“Joyful Interiors and Marguerita Mergentime,” Daniella Ohad, Daniella on Design, April 17, 2017, https://www.daniellaondesign.com/blog/joyful-interiors-and-marguerita-mergentime

“The Home of Marguerita Mergentime,” Daniella Ohad, Daniella on Design, October 31, 2016, https://www.daniellaondesign.com/blog/the-home-of-marguerita-mergentime


Marguerita Mergentime sparks interest

Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas is a welcome addition to the literature on American textiles of the interwar period. Although her career was relatively brief, spanning the 1930s, Mergentime’s designs were widely known, highly sought after, and sold at leading department stores across the United States. The essays situate Mergentime’s work within the context of American design in the early twentieth century and highlight her own special contribution. Elegantly designed and illustrated in full color, Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas is a testament to the imaginative, individual style of this accomplished designer.
—Titi Halle, owner, and Michele Majer, research associate, Cora Ginsburg LLC

I have developed a deep affinity for textiles over my 45 years as a curator at the Cooper-Hewitt, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and most recently the Museum of Arts and Design. Thus it was thrilling to discover this beautiful book on the lively, whimsical, and most thoughtful designs for table linens and other textiles by Marguerita Mergentime. Like so many of the designers of mid-twentieth-century furnishing fabrics, she has long been forgotten and overlooked. Her imaginative use of typography and imagery to provoke conversations among those dining on her table linens is especially delightful.
—Dorothy Globus, former Curator of Exhibitions, Museum of Arts and Design

Although her name may not be as familiar today as some of her design contemporaries, Marguerita Mergentime (1894–1941) played a significant role in fostering changes in American taste in the 1930s. The book paints a vivid picture of the designer and her work, as well as the cultural forces and artistic milieu that surrounded her. Mergentime revitalized traditional sources but also found inspiration in unexpected places, from folk art to politics, copperplate script to expressive fonts. The better part of a century after they were produced, many of Mergentime’s designs still appear fresh and lively. Mergentime experimented with giving everyday necessities a distinctive stylistic twist: her designs emanate spirit, energy, and joy. Richly illustrated, Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas illuminates the thematic range of this imaginative designer, while original advertisements and contemporary quotes capture the spirit of the times in which they were created. 
—Dr. Alice M. Zrebiec, former Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art,
Denver Art Museum