LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: General view of exhibits in the show space during the "Josef Frank Patterns-Furniture-Painting" exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum on January 26, 2017 in London, England.. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Fashion and Textile Museum)
(Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Fashion and Textile Museum)

Walking into the Josef Frank exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum is an instant dopamine rush. A beautiful buzz. Like David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II, ‘It’s a form of two-way therapy.’ An escape from bitter temperatures and bonkers politics. Millions of viewers tuned into the BBC nature documentary last year and as the 90-year-old presenter explained, ‘We crave refuge from horror and uncertainty and for an hour on Wednesday evenings our oceans provide that sanctuary.’ Think I’ll book a season ticket to the museum’s Patterns-Furniture-Painting show, wrap myself in a length of leafy fabric, embrace the floral feelgood factor.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: General view of exhibits in the show space during the "Josef Frank Patterns-Furniture-Painting" exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum on January 26, 2017 in London, England.. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Fashion and Textile Museum)
(Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Fashion and Textile Museum)

Inspired by nature, Josef Frank’s vibrant fabrics and wallpapers are decorated with flowers, plants, parrots and butterflies. The Austrian-born architect moved to Stockholm from Vienna during the Second World War where he began designing for the iconic interiors store Svenskt Tenn. On our last trip to Stockholm, we bought a tiny mid-century cushion cover designed by Frank (about the only thing we could afford) that proudly sits on the lime green sofa at That’s Not My Age Mansions.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: General view of exhibits in the show space during the "Josef Frank Patterns-Furniture-Painting" exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum on January 26, 2017 in London, England.. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Fashion and Textile Museum)
Photo: Ian Gavan

Research has shown that spending time in nature (and I would suggest with amazing images of nature) is good for our mental health. And who doesn’t need cheering up, right now?

Josef Frank: Patterns-Furniture-Painting is on at the Fashion & Textile Museum from 28 Jan – 7 May 2017.

16 thoughts on “Reasons to be cheerful: a Josef Frank exhibition

  1. Beautiful pictures, Alyson. I fell in love with Josef Frank’s prints when I visited Stockholm a couple of years ago and they’ve been creeping into my home decor ever since. They never fail to brighten up my day.

  2. It all looks stunning, Alyson. I will try and fit in a trip next week. Did you go to a preview? I’d never heard of JF before this – amazing. It probably works best as a contrast or in panels, do you think, though?

  3. I’ve seen these fabrics to order at Skandium branch near the V and A. Will try to see this exhibition. I’ve never been to this museum despite meaning to go. Yes to cheerfulness on these cold dark days.

  4. Josef Frank, the Swedish designer, is very well known and appreciated throughout Scandinavia. He gives an injection of colour and life to our interiors and is loved by generations. If you get the chance, go to the exhibition and I garantee you a smile and a happier day.

  5. I totally agree that being surrounded with nature, whether actual or artistic, is good for our souls. Being ‘off the grid’ is very compelling right now. The riot of colour in your photos above is just what I needed to see on this terribly grey and cold day!

  6. For inspiration – google pictures of beautiful Annes hus decorated by JF at Millesgarden in Stockholm. At present the house is closed due to renovations, though. It was built for Anne Hedmark, who was a secretary and hostess for many years at Millesgarden and is absolutely fantastic! Also, if in Stockholm, make sure not to miss Svenskt Tenn, a company where Estrid Ericson and JF created their fabulous designs.

  7. While visiting this museum it’s worth also looking into the London Glassblowers gallery a little way down on the other side of the road. Founded by UK’s star glass maker Peter Layton and also featuring work by other innovative glass artists – the works are pricey but wonderful. Just the thing for a significant birthday! There is sometimes glass blowing in progress at the back of the gallery.

  8. This is exactly what I needed to inspire me today, on another gloomy midwest weekend. I’ll be re-potting some of my indoor plants and doing watercolors of them. Thank you!

  9. It is hard not to smile when seeing these prints; a perfect shot of color to lift the spirit. The pillow cover in the first photo is gorgeous and reminds me of a Matisse print but amplified. Matisse on acid, perhaps? Also, ‘bonkers politics’ is the best way to describe it on both sides of the ‘pond’.

  10. I’ll be in London at the end of this month — thanks so much for adding another reason to go to the Fashion & Textile Museum!!!

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