from floor covering to art form

From the Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser of 7 October 1865 is a comprehensive article on linoleum – its characteristics and manufacture – a year after Frederick Walton established the Linoleum Manufacturing Company.  I’m guessing that Frederick couldn’t have imagined the artistic opportunities that he opened up with oxidising linseed oil.

Linoleum manufacture

These paper samples of linoluem design are held by The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Their story is attached to Museum’s record.

Powerhouse Museum - linoluem design samples 1927-1930

Linoleum as a floor covering provided opportunities for designers and artists to create a wide range of patterns to go underfoot.  Decades later, lino cutting emerged as a craft then an art form.

From Wikipedia, here’s a great example of modern lino cut work from Irena Sibley – When the Sun Took the Colours Away – 1992.  Creative Commons Attribution.

Irena Sibley-SunTookColoursAway