See more objects with the color black saddlebrown sienna or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.


  • Work on this object ended.


  • We acquired this object.





  • You found it!

Textile, Stimulus Collection: Fractions

This is a Textile. It was designed by Bernard Rudofsky and manufactured by Schiffer Prints (a division of Mil-Arts Co.). It is dated ca. 1949 and we acquired it in 1991. Its medium is cotton and its technique is screen printed on 3\1 twill weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Bernard Rudofsky was one of design’s great polymath thinkers. The exhibitions he organized in mid-century New York provoked designers to look at the world in new ways. Trained as an architect in his native Moravia (present day Austria), he was not licensed to practice architecture in the United States. He went on to have an enormously influential career as a curator, writer, critic, exhibition designer, and even fashion designer.
Rudofsky’s screen-printed textile “Fractions” was part of a series of fabrics called the Stimulus Collection, commissioned by Schiffer Prints in 1949. Joining a group of well-known artists and designers who had never created textile patterns before, Rudofsky used his typewriter as a design tool, exploiting the regular width of standard typewriter letters to create fabrics gridded off with evenly sized, mechanically made units. Other contributors to the Stimulus series included George Nelson, Ray Eames, Paul McCobb, Edward Wormley, and Salvador Dali.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Fractions.

It is credited Gift of Berta Rudofsky.

  • Textile, Abacus
  • linen.
  • Museum purchase through gift of Mrs. William Goulding.
  • 2003-7-1

Its dimensions are

H x W: 127 x 129.5 cm (50 x 51 in.) Repeat H: 67.3 cm (26 1/2 in.)

It is inscribed

Fractions by Bernard Rudofsky and SCHIFFER PRINTS VAT DYED HAND PRINT (printed in selvedges)

Cite this object as

Textile, Stimulus Collection: Fractions; Designed by Bernard Rudofsky (American, b. Moravia, 1905 - 1988); USA; cotton; H x W: 127 x 129.5 cm (50 x 51 in.) Repeat H: 67.3 cm (26 1/2 in.); Gift of Berta Rudofsky; 1991-101-1

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Stimulus Collection: Fractions |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=10 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>