I’m not much for the overly cute or quaint, but I find a lot of charm in the work of Tammis Keefe. Keefe was a textile designer in the 20th century, born in Los Angeles in 1913. She worked for a time as a colorist and print designer for the famous Dorothy Liebes, which is where she first became known for her creative illustration style and sharp sense of color. Much of this early work was for architects and interior designers. That is, textiles that would be used in homes and commercial settings.
Sometime in the ‘40s, however, Keefe designed a silk scarf for a friend as a birthday gift. It had “Happy Birthday” written in bold circus letters, and candelabras in purple, blue, and chartreuse. The friend liked it so much that she showed it to Lord & Taylor’s handkerchief buyer, who then showed it to the scarf manufacturer Kimball, who in turn commissioned six designs – each orientated to appeal to a certain type of personality (the antique collector, the musician, the sports fan, etc). The pieces sold out immediately, and happy clients continued to promote her work and commission new art. Between 1944 and 1960, Keefe created hundreds of handkerchief designs, with each one featuring her signature at the corner (a rare thing for textile designers at the time, and even rarer today).
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- cool modern kitchen (via A Scandi Furniture Designer at Home in Paris: Remodelista)
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