Friday, 27 January 2017

St Christopher's Church at the V&A - Silk Damask

In the Summer I finally made it to the Clothworker's Centre, Blythe House at the Victoria & Albert Museum to see their Luther Hooper pieces.  I saw some pieces that were familiar to me from looking at them online, but it was fascinating to see them in real life.

For example, the portion of silk damask side curtain to the altar.  I had seen this picture first in the Art Journal, February 1911.   The damask in St Christopher's Church is described as "red-gold silk damask altar curtains", Spooner describes that the "altar curtains are of red silk damask with copper coloured silk lining, designed by Luther Hooper" (Nicholson, C., and Spooner, C., Recent Eccelesiastical Architecture, Technical Journals Ltd., London, c.1910).   Hooper describes that "their copper-coloured silk lining was woven by Messrs. Warner and Sons of London to the design of the writer" (Art Journal, ibid). 

Portion of Silk Damask, Side Curtain to Altar,
St. Christopher's, Haslemere
designed by Luther Hooper
from Art Journal, February 1911

The colouring of the silk damask held by the Victoria and Albert Museum is clearly not the same as in the Art Journal, but the design is.  

Silk damask by Luther Hooper,
Victoria & Albert Museum

Not only did they have the damask but they also had pattern papers of the same design.   As they were getting these textiles out for me, the V&A took photographs to add the photos to their collection records.  

Luther Hooper, pattern paper
Victoria & Albert Museum
Item T.13:2-1999, Online here

Luther Hooper, pattern paper
Victoria & Albert Museum

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