Fabric innovation is a vital chapter in America’s interior design history, and Boris Kroll, internationally known textile designer and weaver, will be the subject of an exhibition on view at the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) Gallery, October 2 – December 7.
“Mid-Century Maestro: The Textiles of Boris Kroll” will showcase more than 90 textiles from Kroll’s archive, which was purchased in 1991 by Scalamandré. The display of historic textiles, supported by photographs and documentary materials, will showcase the extraordinary range and sophistication of the Boris Kroll collection and bring its rich history to life.
“Kroll was a self-taught weaver who went on to establish one of the largest textile mills in America,” said Steven Stolman, president of Scalamandré. “We have wanted to share the brilliance of Kroll fabrics with the public for a long time, and his work is as fresh and exciting as ever. This show provides the perfect context and setting to honor Kroll’s quest for learning and innovation and further secures his place in history.”
Kroll is credited with the first introduction of bright color into upholstery fabrics and the invention of a trademark jacquard weave incorporating multiple types of textured yarns to produce his signature undulating patterns and geometric designs.
Born in 1913, Kroll founded his company in the 1930's and the Kroll mill became a thriving industry leader in the textile-manufacturing hub of Paterson, New Jersey. In the 1970's, Kroll pioneered the use of the Jacquard loom in a new way to execute his large-scale tapestry designs, intended to brighten large expanses of walls in public places and corporate offices.
By the 1980's, the company had come to be considered a leader in combining advanced weaving technology with imaginative patterns and an original, enduring color sensibility for use in homes, offices, hotels, ships and even airplanes. As just one example, Kroll designed textiles for the Continental Airlines premier 747 jet service to Honolulu, which featured colors ranging from hot pink in first class to turquoise blues in coach.
Kroll fabrics and tapestries are highly prized by collectors and are in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and were featured in a 1956 show at the Museum of Modern Art entitled "Textiles USA"—the first major show devoted entirely to modern American textiles. Solo exhibitions have been mounted at the Seattle Art Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Fashion Institute of Technology, and at Guild Hall in East Hampton, New York.
The exhibition will be open to the public from Wednesday, October 2 – Saturday, December 7 at the NYSID gallery, 161 East 96th Street in New York City. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.