Object Timeline

1952

  • Work on this object began.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2018

2022

  • You found it!

Textile, Open Sesame

This is a Textile. It was designed by Anton Refregier (American, b. Russia (1905–1979) and produced by Associated American Artists. It is dated 1952 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is cotton and its technique is printed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Anton Refregier, the WPA muralist who often painted scenes from American history—and occasionally attracted controversy for his unflattering depictions—also created wildly successful textiles for AAA. For his Open Sesame design, which was chosen for a spread in Vogue Pattern Book in 1953, he arranged stylized locks and skeleton keys in a puzzle-like formation. This colorway’s imaginative hardware appears in orange, brown, and green on an undyed ground. (1)

This design in this colorway is currently represented in the museum’s collection (1994-38-10).

(1) Karen J. Herbaugh, “Index of AAA Textile Designs,” in Art for Every Home: An Illustrated Index of Associated American Artists Prints, Ceramics, and Textile Designs (Manhattan: Marianna Kistler Beach Museum, Kansas State University, 2016), http://hdl.handle.net/2097/19686.

This object was donated by American Textile History Museum. It is credited American Textile History Museum Collection, museum purchase through gift of anonymous donor.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 222.3 × 90.2 cm (7 ft. 3 1/2 in. × 35 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Open Sesame; Designed by Anton Refregier (American, b. Russia (1905–1979) (American, b. Russia (1905–1979)); cotton; H x W: 222.3 × 90.2 cm (7 ft. 3 1/2 in. × 35 1/2 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection, museum purchase through gift of anonymous donor; 2016-35-14

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-4.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108711537/ |title=Textile, Open Sesame |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=3 October 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>