Throughout her long career, Kipp worked for a diverse clientele, both commercial and private, including Modernist architects R. M. Schindler (1887–1953) and Richard Neutra (1892–1970); the interior designer Frances Elkins (1888–1953); the high-end Los Angeles department store Bullocks; the renowned Beverly Hills Hotel; and many Hollywood film celebrities. By keeping her output limited, Kipp was able to maintain strict control over her designs, their production and quality. The impressive and sustained success of her business depended entirely on word-of-mouth referrals, as she did not advertise. However, interviews with Kipp that appeared in the trade journals Western
Fabrics, Curtains and Drapes (1949), Handweaverand Craftsmen (1951–52) and CreativeCrafts (1961) brought attention to her unique textiles.
This striking wall hanging exemplifies her sophisticated handling of color and texture. Kipp interlaces natural and synthetic yarnslush cotton chenille, glossy rayon and reflective lurexof various weights in vivid shades of coral, red, plum, fuchsia, peach, and copper, all achieved through in-house dyeing. In multiple bands of different widths, Kipp explores the juxtaposition of color, dense and open areas, matte and shiny surfaces, and other textural effects. Characteristic of many of Kipps hangings is the long, thick fringe that finishes the lower edge. Overall, the panel conveys a rich visual and tactile complexity, belied by its plain weave structure.
Kipp felt strongly that furnishing textiles should complement the environments for which they were designed, and she produced drapery and upholstery fabrics that suited a wide range of interior schemes. Kipp herself best defined her legacy to twentieth-century modern design in her unpublished autobiographyshe wrote that she wished “to produce and fabricate durable, well-constructed and beautiful textiles.”
Maria Kipp textiles are in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Bernardino County Museum, California; and the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas.
84” H x 51” W