Sparkling | Damask and Glass from Classic to Art Deco

Sparkling | Damask and Glass from Classic to Art Deco

12 November 2016 till 29 October 2017

In the past, shiny linen damask was used to set the table. Additional twinkling glassware gave the whole a festive feeling. This exhibition illuminates the interaction between glass- and textile design in the Netherlands, from the classic 19th century decorations and the 1900 Art Nouveau developments until the Art Deco in the 1930s. Every period has its own innovative designs in table linen. In combination with leading Dutch glassware, the result is wonderful. Part of the exhibition is reinterpreted art nouveau table linen by Chris Lebeau, made in the TextielLab.

Classic damask and glass
Grape vines, flowers and meanders are common motifs for table linen and regular glassware in the 19th century. But around 1850 people are no longer satisfied with the artistic quality of many of the factory products. The patterns, that have been used for a very long time, become third-rate because of the repetitive use of its elements. The compositions are often arbitrary and loaded with different motifs. In the Netherlands, this criticism leads to huge changes, that eventually result in a renewed form of applied arts.

Cooperation between artists and industry
Artists start to collaborate with the industry around 1900. The idea was that everybody should be able to buy a well-designed product that has been produced with great craftsmanship. The innovations are to be found in both the glass industry as well as the linen weaving mills. Inspired by Art Nouveau, artists design graceful patterns. Linen weaving mill E.J.F. Van Dissel & Zonen in Eindhoven engages Chris Lebeau, who develops the most beautiful damask that has ever been produced in the Netherlands. Glass factory Leerdam changes its policy under the directions of P.M. Cochius. He asks architects like H.P. Berlage and K.P.C. de Bazel to design glass. The products are successful but still too expensive for the public. Except for the press glass tableware by De Bazel, that has been produced in several colours in great amounts.  

photo | glass tableware K.P.C. de Bazel 1920, glassfactory Leerdam - collection Glasmuseum Leerdam. damask: Chris Lebeau 'Stervariaties' (nr. 203) 1932, E.J.F. Van Dissel & Zn - collection TextielMuseum, photography Josefina Eikenaar.

Art Deco
From 1920 onwards, forms get more exuberant and geometric. The designs are called Art Deco, or the common Dutch variant: Amsterdamse School. Subsequently, modernism comes up, with simple and straight designs. The damask weaving mills grow rapidly. Jaap Gidding, known for the Amsterdamse School design of the Tuschinksky theatre, and the Bauhaus designer Kitty van der Mijll Dekker focus on damask as well. A.D. Copier, designer at the Glasfabriek Leerdam, successfully introduces new, simple and functionally shaped drinking tableware to add to the arts & crafts collection. Following Leerdam, The Maastricht based glass factory Kristalunie attracts artists at the end of the decennium to renew its collection. The most famous are Jan Eisenloeffel, Piet Zwart en W.J. Roozendaal.

photo | glass drinking table ware: W.J Roozendaal, tableware Logos, 1929, Kristalunie, Maastricht - collection National Glasmuseum Leerdam, damask: Chris Lebeau, damask Arabesk (nr. 202). about 1932, E.J.F. Van Dissel & Zn. Eindhoven - collection TextielMuseum, photography Josefina Eikenaar

Lebeau by TextielMuseum
For the new products of our label, by TextielMuseum, Studio Prelude reinterpreted the 1926 classic and iconic table linen ‘Visschen’ (nr. 561) of former decorative artist Chris Lebeau. The designers Iris Toonen en Elske van Heeswijk focused on the different weave bindings and rediscovered the Art Nouveau dessin. Beautiful, contemporary products are the result in new colours and materials.

photo | new damask Chris Lebeau by TextielMuseum, photography Joep Vogels

By using reflective yarns, some of the fish in the design show rainbow-like colours. At every angle of the table, the fish are exposed to a different light, which makes them almost ‘swim’. The napkins contain subtle, almost white, colours that play a game with the reflecting yarns of the tablecloth. The table linen, presented in the exhibition with matching glass ware, is on sale at the TextielShop. A film shows the making process in the TextielLab.

This project has been made possible with financial support from:



With many thanks to the Nationaal Glasmuseum, Leerdam for the loans of the glass