Jack Lenor Larsen
Jack Lenor Larsen (1927-2020) was an internationally known textile designer, author, and collector, and one of the world's foremost advocates of traditional and contemporary crafts. His awards are many and his designs are in collections of international museums. Larsen is associated with schools and art centers worldwide.
Jack Lenor Larsen
Photo courtesy of Shonna Valeska, @shonnavaleska
Jack Lenor Larsen founded the firm that still bears his name in 1952. Over the next seven decades, Larsen - the company - grew steadily to become a dominant resource for signature fabrics. The "Larsen Look", which began with Mr. Larsen's own award-winning hand-woven fabrics of natural yarns in random repeats, evolved to become synonymous with 20th century design at its pinnacle.
Known as an innovator, Larsen won many awards and was one of only four Americans ever to be honored with an exhibition in the Palais du Louvre. More than a weaver, Mr. Larsen was a scholar, world traveler, and authority on traditional and contemporary crafts. His home, LongHouse, was built as a case study to exemplify a creative approach to contemporary life.
In 2019, he wrote:
For a long time now, I have been a maker - often of the less usual and with some success - for a time. While mid-century furniture endures, my cloths are in shreds, their successful exhibits long forgotten.
LongHouse - on the other hand - transcends, each year more splendidly. Best are the trees - both the giant oaks each year so knowingly pruned as to become bare-leaved - our finest sculpture and my favorite place of prayer. Next best are the many trees planted long ago and now surprisingly, beautifully mature.
Friends used to ask about a Master Plan to which my response was, "I don't know yet what will be given us," recalling the ancient proverb: Be an open bowl that some opportunity might fall in! Now we see the coming together of the gardens, both the organic and the structured (manmade). And approximately subordinate, as is the evolving sculpture, an understatement so rare these days.
PS: In the same breath, I express gratitude for our memorial trees - both those given us and those dedicated - which each year becomes more noble.
Learn More About Jack
- Jack Lenor Larsen Biography
- PBS NYC Arts Profile
- HANDMADE IN AMERICA: Jack Larsen
- Interview with Jack Larsen by Patricia Malarcher of Surface Design Journal.
- The Minneapolis Institute of Arts "LARSEN: a living archive"
- Interior Design Magazine, August 2013
- Download high-res B+W portrait of Jack Lenor Larsen by Paul Godwin.
- Paul Godwin Copyright + Contact Info
- Download high-res color portrait of Jack Lenor Larsen by Shonna Valeska.
- Shonna Valeska Copyright + Contact Info
- Larsen at Cowtan & Tout
Books Available for Purchase at INstore include:
Learning from LongHouse by Jack Lenor Larsen, published by Pointed Leaf Press, 2016.
Jack Lenor Larsen's LongHouse by Molly Chappellet, published by Chronicle Books, 2010.