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In the 1870s and 80s, Britain experienced a craze for all things Japanese. Japanese art and design was seen as exciting and exotic by Europeans, because it was so different to Western culture. It offered a whole new way of looking at and representing the world.
Arthur Silver was a British designer of wallpapers and textiles. He established his company, the Silver Studio, in 1880. He and his colleagues were avid collectors of Japanese source material. The Silver Studio incorporated Japanese materials, methods and motifs these into designs for wallpapers and textiles for British consumers between about 1880 and 1930. The resulting designs are not straightforwardly ‘Japanese’ but are the result of a cross-cultural fertilisation of design ideas.
Today the Silver Studio Collection is the core collection of the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (MoDA), Middlesex University. This book accompanies an exhibition held at MoDA between 2009 and 2010.