Artists & Designers

Maria Kipp (1900-1988)

Maria Kipp, one of America's foremost textile designers, produced hand-woven fabrics for drapery and upholstery during the mid-20th century. The Dallas Museum of Art's collection comprises thirty-five textile panels that represent the finest examples of her work from all periods of her production. Born in 1900 in the German village of Weihsenbrunn, Kipp studied at the Kunst-Gewerbe School in Munich where she studied design and color. Later she was the first woman to attend the Staatliche Hohere Fachschule für Textilindustrie in Münchberg, Bavaria, to learn the technical structure and engineering of weaving. In 1924, Kipp immigrated to the United States, and her career began with the purchase of two German handlooms, which she operated in her garage in Los Angeles.

Kipp's first major commission came in the late 1930s when she wove all the curtains for the new Los Angeles City Hall and the San Francisco Stock Exchange. She worked with the best architects and interior designers of her time such as Rudolf Schindler, Paul Williams, Herman Sachs, and Richard Neutra. These top professionals were drawn to Kipp's hand-woven fabrics because of their superb quality and craftsmanship and her ability to produce custom colors for drapery and upholstery. Although she continued to vary color and fibers throughout her career, Kipp's designs always reflected the Bauhaus tradition of geometric abstraction and linear form.

Adapted from

Charles Venable, DMA unpublished material, 2002.

Web Resources

Cooper Hewitt
Listen to Cooper Hewitt's Object of the Day, Emerald City, featuring a hanging by Maria Kipp.

Cooper Hewitt
Listen to Cooper Hewitt's Object of the Day, Harmonious Color and Texture, featuring a panel by Maria Kipp.