Atelier Zanolli: Fabrics, Fashion, Craft 1905-1939
Under the label Atelier Zanolli, a fantastic world of silk fabrics that were painted and imprinted with patterns, opulently embroidered cushions, colourful pearl creations, as well as finely crafted leather and wood articles, was created between 1905 and 1939 in Zurich. The Zanollis had immigrated from Italy in 1905. Their family business was entirely women-run by mother Antonietta and her daughters Pia, Lea, and Zoe Zanolli. The cultural and stylistic influences manifested in the Zanollis’ visually appealing product world range from the avant-garde to a typically Swiss aesthetic forged by a national spirit of defence against the increasingly felt threat that Nazi Germany posed to the country in the 1930s. Driven by a striving for artistic self-realisation, the atelier defied the many economic challenges of the period and carried out many commissions for Zurich’s leading textile businesses and department stores.
This book traces the history of Atelier Zanolli, places its work in the context of the development of Zurich and the Swiss textile industry in the first half of the 20th century, and for the first time also positions the “Zanolli style” internationally. More than 600 images show the wealth of colours and shapes of the cosmos of textiles and crafted objects, as well as templates, sketches, private photographs, business cards, and letters. The essays illuminate the techniques and work processes used, discuss entire motif families and unique designs, and grant a rare comprehensive insight into the tastes of the time.
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