London Museum Hosts Late Designer Josef Frank’s First-Ever UK Exhibition

Austrian-born architect and designer Josef Frank’s vibrant, decorative and ground-breaking work will be exhibited in the UK for the first time at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum from the 28th of January. Along with Frank’s previous iconic designs, we will also be exposed to the lesser-known, softer side of the innovative designer. An exclusive collection of his watercolour paintings will also be on display, depicting the landscapes, cityscapes and still-life compositions he encountered on his travels.

7. Josef Frank, Butterfly, 1943-45 ©Svenskt Tenn
Svenskt_Tenn_Textil_Grona_Faglar_1_2©Svenskt Tenn

Together, Josef Frank and designer Estrid Ericson captured the essence of what is now regarded as the ‘Swedish Modern’. Frank’s textile patterns have been described as visual worlds filled with optimistic energy; with the devastating effects of World War II, his work offered a glimmer of hope, a dreamy world with endless possibilities where differences intertwined.

Svenskt_Tenn_Textil_Hawai_Brun_1_2©Svenskt Tenn

His take on modernism certainly defied convention. While others were believers in simple, monochromatic concepts, Frank’s interior design ideas abound with the decorative and colourful forms of nature. “The richness of decoration cannot be fathomed so quickly”, he once wrote; he believes that a home should be adaptable, cosy, comfortable and filled with soft sofas and fabrics with natural patterns in an array of bold colours. We’ll take that.


“Josef Frank’s textile patterns are design classics: his brilliant use of colour, sense of scale and surreal organic forms have remained in fashion for over 70 years.” Celia Joicey, Head of the Fashion and Textile Museum tells us. “Frank’s collaboration with Estrid Ericson at Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm is a fine example of how working in a design partnership can create a stronger individual style.”

Svenskt_Tenn_Textil_Tulpaner_Svart_1_2©Svenskt Tenn
Svenskt_Tenn_Textil_Dixieland_1_2©Svenskt Tenn
4. Josef Frank, Manhatten, 1943-45©Svenskt Tenn
8. Josef Frank, Artillerigatan-Stockholm, Watercolour between 1953-67 ©Anna Sievert
3. Josef Frank Watercolour between 1953-67, ©Anna Sievert
1. The dining room in Anne's house, Millesgarden. Fitterd with Josef Frank furniture by Estrid Ericson ©Millesgarden
‘Josef Frank Patterns – Furniture – Painting’ runs at The Fashion and Textile Museum from 28 January – 7 May 2017.