Adam, circa 1957
Framed (ref: 170)
Squared extensively, inscribed with colour and weaving notes
Collage, gouache, crayon and pencil, 42 x 23 in. (108 x 59.6 cm.)
Tags: Keith Vaughan Abstract Art allegory design
Provenance: The Earl of Bute; The Edinburgh Weavers' Collection, Carlisle; Austin Desmond
Literature: G Rayner, Artists' Textiles in Britain 1945-1970, 2003, reproduced in col., p. 77
Adam, commissioned by Alistair Morton for the Edinburgh Weavers'
Collection, won the 1958 Design Centre Award for Best Woven Textile. It
was produced to Vaughan's design as a Jacquard woven cotton and rayon
40-inch repeat. Other artists commissioned by the Edinburgh Weavers
included Hepworth, Nicholson, Frink, and Scott; as such the company
built up a reputation for cutting-edge design. Of the half-dozen
designs that Vaughan made Adam is by far the most complex, and the only
one for which the original design is extant. Some designs were used for
cushions and curtains, a number of which decorated Vaughan's London
In 1951 Vaughan made a 'Statement on Painting' in which he identified
his 'leitmotif' as the interrelationship of nature and man: '. . .the
folds of the shirt round the arm pit are the folds of the bark round
the tree-joint. Hands are like leaves. The taut, tight curve of the
spine is only warmed and more human than the curve of the tree trunk.
Each part of the one is interchangeable with the other.' Modern British
Painters, vol. 111, no. 2, Summer 1990.
Adam will be included in Tony Hepworth's forthcoming catalogue raisonné on Keith Vaughan.
We are grateful to Professor John Ball for his assistance.