Friday, November 12, 2010

Vera (*with a ladybug) the Inimitable

If you all are like us, you've seen your fair share of Vera goods while thrifting or vintage-hunting. If you're also like us, you recognize the scribbled name but not one bit of the history behind it! So, after receiving the book, Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon and a load of Vera scarves, we decided to investigate further. Here's a little history and lots of awesome graphics...

(Vera doin' what she do best)

Vera Neumann was an American artist and entrepreneur. Known only as Vera, she was best known for her bold graphics on scarves and continues to be an icon for simple, colorful designs. Vera was born in 1907 and started her career in art at an early age, filling sketchbook after sketchbook and going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art each Sunday with her father. After attending Cooper Union, Vera met George Neumann. They married and, fusing their backgrounds (Vera in art and George in textile printing), they created their first company, Printex. Hand painting each print then screenprinting them in their own home, the business grew and grew.

What followed, after joining with friend and salesmen Frederik Werner Hamm, was decades of beautiful, fun and creative artistry printed first (and most famously) on scarves and linens and then later on sportswear and luggage (even Anthropologie continues to sell Vera print chairs, sofas and clothes).

Vera's popularity boomed in the late fiftes and early sixties and was on a first-name basis (with her signature ladybug) with famous names like Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly.

(Marilyn posing with a Vera scarf)

In 1967, George died unexpectedly and Vera sold the company to Manhattan Industries but stayed on as creative director for many years. Up until a few months before her death in 1993, Vera still painted diligently.

To see what Vera merchandise we have in the store, click on the jump below!

(simple but chic)

(a "V" scarf!)

(Maggie's favorite Vera scarf)

 (a cotton scarf - unusual fabric for a Vera scarf!)
(this one is super super soft and a wee bit smaller than the rest)

(a set of Vera sheets!)

(a polyester Vera shirt)

Learning more about Vera was not only informational for us over at Street Scene, but inspiring! The book Vera: The Life of an Icon is full of really beautiful pictures of some of Vera's greatest works, we only included just a few of our favorites! Also, if you're ever in Lexington, be sure to check out our Vera collection - we've always got something of her's in (thankfully!). Hope you all learned a bit, too, or just enjoyed the beautiful prints!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting about this incredible artist and her beautiful work! I'm glad I know where to go to buy her art the next time I'm in town!