Repeating History: GP&J Baker Archival Prints
GP&J Baker was founded in 1884 by famed gardener and entrepreneur George Baker and his two sons George Percival and James. The Bakers employed leading Arts & Crafts designers and collected antique block prints along with rare cotton prints from India, creating an extensive library of both archive documents and textile designs. Detailed flowers and naturalistic imagery were translated from hand painted works of art into fabrics and wallpapers applicable for everyday use. Floral chintzes became archetypal of the GP&J Baker house and have endured as their signature style.
GP&J Baker’s greatest accomplishment has been its ability to remain modern while honoring its legacy. Under the direction of Creative Director Ann Grafton, GP&J Baker has updated many of the original textiles with modern colorings to create fabrics and wallpapers that are reminiscent of the Arts & Crafts style and, at the same time, contemporary. Most recently, GP&J Baker has released its Crayford collection, which features several rich-colored archive documents in fabric and coordinating wallpaper. Read more about these historic textiles to give your decor a classic twist:
Adopted by Arts & Crafts artist William Turner from a Ming dynasty painted silk scroll, Nympheus depicts drooping lotus leaves sheltering kingfisher birds. This large floral pattern has a mysterious quality that makes it hard to identify as antique, retro, or contemporary. Its distinctive lines and block colors make it relevant to today’s decor.
Leaf Cascading 1903
GP & J Baker first used the leading Arts & Crafts artist George C Haite’s watercolor “Leaf Cascading” as a hand-block print in 1903. Haite’s “freely-brushed clusters” of foliage are representative of the artist’s style and flow together like a well-groomed garden. Bring a sense of the English countryside into your home with Leaf Cascading drapery or upholstery.
Imperial Pheasant 1915
Designed by Sidney G. Mawson for GP&J Baker in 1915, Imperial Pheasant portrays the contrasting aspects of love and nature by juxtaposing sweet magnolias with poisonous oleander flowers. Originally printed using 72 different blocks and featuring both pheasants and turtle doves, this textile has been revamped to accommodate advanced printing methods. Available as a wallpaper as well as a fabric, Imperial Pheasant’s vivid and on-trend colors enhance the exotic flair of the pheasant, magnolia and oleander flowers. Introduce this print into your polished decor to create a lively atmosphere.
Bamboo Bird Trellis 1915
Originally featured as a plate in George Percival Baker’s 1921 publication Calico Painting and Printing in the East Indies, the “Bamboo Bird” painting was inspired by an 18th century hand painted Indian palampore, or cotton hanging. In 1915, GP&J Baker designer Burn was asked to transform the original painting into a block print. Burn maintained the central motifs and adapted the palampore into a symmetrical trellis. Birds perch along intertwining branches that create a diamond trellis with an all-over leaf background. This pattern looks stunning in a more traditional setting.
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