What was Silver Studio?
I first came across Silver Studio through my collection of Art Nouveau book covers. It was one of the major pattern design studios of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company, founded by Arthur Silver, was based in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, and ran from 1880 to 1963. The Silver Studio collection is now housed at Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (MoDA), North London.
‘From the period 1880 to 1940, there can be no other collection in the world which so accurately reflects the type of wallpapers and textiles which went into the English middle-class house’
(quote from Silver Studio of Design by Turner and Hoskins, 1988)
The Studio’s initial style was based principally on Art Nouveau and Japanese influences (some Zena & Rose favourites). There were a couple of key designers who shaped the aesthetic, such as Harry Napper and John Illingworth Kay. Of course, the company had to adapt as tastes changed and fully embraced Art Deco and Abstract prints around the 1920s. By the 1940s the pressure of the Second World War had taken its toll on the availability of the designers but there were some popular products in the 1950s such as woven textiles and Cubist wallpaper. After this, the company entered a period of stagnation and did not get on board with Modernism and Scandinavian influences.
Below I have added a selection of my favourite Silver Studio book covers for your enjoyment.
Until next time creative crew,