Enid Marx (1902-1998) was a textile designer, printmaker and illustrator who, alongside her contemporaries Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden, defined mid-century design.
The exhibition coincides with the 20th anniversary of her death and will be the most comprehensive retrospective of her work mounted in the last 40 years. It will bring together over 150 pieces from private and public collections, many previously unseen.
Best known for the fabrics she created for London Transport’s tube seats and the wartime Utility Furniture Scheme, Marx was the first ever female engraver to be awarded the title of Royal Designer for Industry.
But over a career spanning seven decades her work was extraordinarily varied, encompassing patterned paper for Curwen Press, book covers for King Penguin and the stamps for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.
Co-Curator, Olivia Ahmad, said: 'Enid Marx was a pioneering designer whose broad interests in abstract modernism and Popular Art traditions inspired remarkable achievements in textile design, book illustration and printmaking. This exhibition, and Alan Powers’ book, comes at a time of increased focus on the achievements of the Royal College of Art’s interwar graduates, and in particular Marx’s male peers Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden. Her distinctive contribution to this critical period of British design deserves the same recognition.'
The exhibition is co-curated by historian Dr Alan Powers, author of the first monograph on Marx recently published by Lund Humphries.
The exhibition is generously supported by the Jeremy and John Sacher Charitable Trust and the Exhibition Supporters Group.
Dates for your diary:
4 July: In Conversation with Alan Powers.
10 September: Women in Print: Enid Marx and her Contemporaries
Important to know:
One ticket covers admission to all House of Illustration exhibitions that are open on the day. Buy exhibition tickets below.