Over his lifetime, the Austrian-born architect Josef Frank (1885-1967) produced nearly 200 designs for textiles, making for a fascinating juxtaposition with his better-known architectural practice. His distinctive, expressionistic interpretation of bouquets can be seen in Svenska Vårblommor. From the 1920s, Frank spent holidays in Sweden, eventually moving to Stockholm in 1933 due to the increasingly unwelcoming political climate in Austria. Once in Sweden, Frank began what would become a decades-long professional relationship with Estrid Ericson, founder of the interior design firm Svenkst Tenn. Svenska Vårblommor, first printed for Svenskt Tenn in 1945 by Baker’s in England, represents one of their collaborations with a Scandinavian specificity, block-printed in vivid overlays of yellow, red, green, cobalt, and purple. The crocuses, fritillaries, marigolds, tulips, and other flora in spring bloom make reference to the wetlands and area surrounding Lake Mälaren, but Frank has here depicted the blossoms in the playful stylized manner for which he came to be known.
Illustrated in Kristina Wängberg-Eriksson, Josef Frank Textile Designs (1999), pp. 9, 21; fig. 2.