Issue Date: 2018 MARCH, Posted On: 3/28/2018

03282018 Jan Kath Launches Santa Fe Museum Area Rug Collections in New York
By Carol Tisch

Kyle Clarkson of Kyle + Kath in New York, and designer of two museum collections launched by Jan Kath at the 2018 AD Digest Design Show, poses in front of rugs from the Common Threads series based on archival embroidery samplers.

NEW YORK - At the 2018 Architectural Digest Design Show, which featured area rugs in sections devoted to luxury designer furnishings and hand-crafted decorative products, one company, Jan Kath Design, stood out for new collections that bridged both categories.
The Common Threads collection, based on works from the archives of the Santa Fe Museum of International Folk Art, and the Native Legends series in collaboration with the Santa Fe Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, debuted to U.S. audiences at last week's AD show at  Manhattan's Pier 94. The New York launch follows a highly positive response at the collections' premiere in January at Jan Kath Design's headquarters in Bochum, Germany.
At the show, RugNews.com spoke with Kyle Clarkson, partner in the New York showroom of Kyle + Kath, and designer of the debuting collections, about his designs, which represent some of the most creative and unexpected translations of archival textiles and pottery into area rugs that our editors can recall.

Common Threads

Detailed stitch work from an archival 18th century sampler inspired this textural Jan Kath rug from the Common Treads collection.

"The Santa Fe 
Museum of International Folk Art approached me last year," Clarkson explained. "They asked me to go through their antique textiles and costumes from around the world to find something that inspired me to design a collection of rugs. I looked through their fabric archives for three days and on the last day I found a collection of darning samplers that were done in Europe.

"There were six altogether, most were from the late 18th century. The samplers were the size of my handkerchief, really small and very detailed," Clarkson recalled. "As soon as I saw the samplers, I knew what I was going to do."

An embroidery sampler from the Santa Fe Museum of International Folk Art is translated into a boho-chic rug from Jan Kath Design.

"The reaction has been very positive," Clarkson said, "we have already specified the designs for dining rooms, living rooms, and people have approached us for commercial settings."

The Common Threads collection reinterprets the darning samplers created by young women in Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and North America as a way to learn how to mend worn and torn garments and other household items. The museum's delicate and rather small works of art feature a variety of needlework patterns created in patches of silk and cotton threads on linen ground cloth.

Jan Kath Design launches the Common Threads collection, including this plaid area rug reimagined from a darning sampler from the Santa Fe Museum of International Folk Art.

"I have a great passion for textiles so when the museum granted me three days to through their collections, it was like a dream come true," Clarkson said. By using a combination of sumac wool and nettle flatweave with hand-knotted silk cut pile, this collection gives a modern take on a craft that has been nearly forgotten in today's world.

Native Legends

A new design from the Native Legends collection by Jan Kath in collaboration with the Santa Fe Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.

Also introduced at the AD show and earlier this year in Germany, is the Native Legends collection for the Santa Fe Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. During the same three days, Clarkson combed that museum's archives in search of inspiration from which to design a collection based around Native American artwork and artifacts from the museum's massive collections. "There was so much material to go through, I decided to focus on Native American pottery, to give the collection a more cohesive story line," Clarkson said.

"Again I went through their archives -- thousands and thousands of pots. The rug collection is sort of an amalgamation of all the different pieces I've seen."  The rugs are hand-tufted interpretations of pottery unique to the various Pueblos or villages in New Mexico. Laying aside the palette of browns, reds, whites and black of traditional Indian Pottery, the Native Legends collection incorporates vibrant colors and undulating forms into these semi-worsted wool and silk carpets.

Jan Kath and the Santa Fe Museum of Indian Arts & Culture premiere the Native Legends area rug collection at the AD Design Show.

The combination of these colors and shapes make each piece a contemporary artifact that binds together the present and the past, explained Clarkson, who designed many custom rugs in the past for Jan Kath clients, but told RugNews.com that Common Threads and Native Legends are his first official collections for the company.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of rugs from both collections will return to the museums to support education, acquisition and conservation.

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