Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eleanor Beard and Vera Neumann

My title for this image is: Modern New York Beauty by Vera Neumann

Designer Vera Neumann

What do you think, did Vera Neumann's designs influence quilting?

TQHF Honoree Jean Ray Laury started designing and making her "modern" quilts about the sometime. The Alliance for American Quilts has a copy of her first House Beautiful article (1960) on its website. It's worth checking it out to compare the two.

Vera Neumann certainly seems to have borrowed freely from quilting designs for her fabrics adding a very "modern" touch. One Etsy seller has several pages of her designs. It's worth taking a peak. No affilation whatsover with this seller.

Here is another interesting blogger Starfishes and Sundresses who writes about color and design influence.

Today I also stumbled across the company that bought out the Eleanor Beard Studio in 2002. You can read a short history of Eleanor Beard here.

Quilt historian Cuesta Benberry wrote about Beard's quilting business in "Cottage Industries: A Chronicle," in Quiltmaking in America: Beyond the Myths edited by Laurel Horton and published by AQSG in 1994. Copies are readily available of this book on used book sites.

Xenia Cord also mentions Beard in her 1995 paper "Marketing Kit Quilts in the 1920s and 1930s" (pages 139-173) in Uncoverings, the annual volume of quilt research papers published by AQSG.

Here are a couple of quilts bearing the Eleanor Beard label that apparently sold on eBay about a year ago.

Enjoy exploring!


To see an UPDATE October 2011, click here.


  1. Karen,

    I'm glad Jane Scott has finally put some of the Eleanor Beard history up on her company's website. When I contacted her in 2008 during the research phase of my AQSG study center work I found that she is a wealth of information. She expressed interest in writing the history down someday. I'm glad to see she has!

    All best,
    Lisa P in Ohio

  2. Lisa, thanks for dropping by! Tell us more about your AQSG Study Center!

  3. Karen, so interesting! I've never researched Vera Neumann but have loved her designs since I was a kid coveting my grandmother's Vera bedding and linens.
    PS. I found this blog entry via a lazy google image search for "modern NY quilt." Was trying to find the NY Mod quilt guild logo. Funny how we loop back to friends on the net.

    Happy day!