John Piper

A visit to Chichester gave me a chance to call in very briefly at Pallant House to see their exhibition about John Piper’s work as a textile designer, an aspect of his work with which I was nearly totally unfamiliar, but which is an appropriate subject for Chichester where he designed a cope for Walter Hussey when he was first appointed Dean in 1955 and a set of seven tapestries for the Cathedral fifty years ago.

Piper’s first work as a textile designer was for Zika and Lida Ascher who had set up a silk-printing business in London after emigrating from Czechoslovakia.   In 1947, they organised an exhibition of printed textiles at the ICA.   In the 1950s, he also worked for David Whitehead Ltd., a textile company in Lancashire for whom he did beautiful textile designs of, for example, Grinling Gibbons’s spectacular monument to Baptist Noel, third Viscount Campden in Exton church in Rutland:-


In 1962, he produced a design of Sheffield Cathedral as seen from the High Street to celebrate the centenary of Sandersons:-


Last, I show a detail of a Thai silk chasuble with motifs appliquéd in leather which he produced for Walter Hussey in 1967:-



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