A Spotlight On... Robert Stewart
Liberty Fabrics pays tribute to Scottish designer Robert Stewart, with a reimagining of one of his designs from our archive.
Image credit: Robert Stewart Estate
During the 1950s, Liberty was helping to lead the charge on cutting-edge textiles – with the help of Robert Stewart, a Scottish designer with a unique eye for pattern and surface design. For The New Collectables for Autumn/Winter 2021, the Liberty designers created their Noon print based on one of Stewart’s original designs from 1952. Colourful, vibrant and whimsical, the print features alternating sun faces – a motif essentially synonymous with Stewart’s distinctive handwriting.
“Robert Stewart created a really strong look for Liberty during the ‘50s,” explains Liberty Head Archivist Anna Buruma. “He designed some of the best furnishing fabrics of the period – including his original Sun Man design.” Stewart was commissioned by Liberty along with other top artists and designers of his generation, creating bold and striking prints that enthralled customers with a fresh, forward-looking approach.
As well as designing textile prints Stewart also worked on projects with the Edinburgh Tapestry company at the Dovecote Studios, creating tapestries for the likes of Glasgow Cathedral and Strathclyde University. He produced ceramic printed kitchenware, sold through Liberty, and taught at Glasgow School of Art for more than 35 years – leaving a legacy of generations of successful textile students, as well as his own rich body of work.
The family are delighted to have this new fabric design being launched by Liberty – particularly as it is a design not seen out of the Liberty Archive before.