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Larsen & Zollinger
Jack Lenor Larsen is one of the most influential textile designers in the world. For 45 years he led the company founded in his name, Jack Lenor Larsen, Inc., in the production of fabrics for the interior environment. In later years he produced carpet and furniture under the Larsen Carpet and Larsen Furniture names. Larsen took his design inspiration from around the world, visiting scores of countries to learn traditional hand-weaving and loom techniques which he interpreted in new and innovative ways. In 1997, Jack Lenor Larsen, Inc. was purchased by the English firm Colefax and Fowler. On the occasion of this purchase, a decision was made to donate Larsen’s entire archive to the University of Minnesota (Elmer L. Andersen Library Archives and Goldstein Museum of Design) and Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Search for Larsen items in GMD's collection here.
About the Interviewer
Dr. Stephanie Zollinger is an Associate Professor in the College of Design, University of Minnesota. She has long been a scholar of Jack Lenor Larsen. She was curator of the 2001 GMD exhibition "Inspiration of an Innovator: Jack Lenor Larsen" and co-author of the catalog Interplay: Perspectives on the Design Legacy of Jack Lenor Larsen. To help preserve the Larsen legacy, Dr. Zollinger interviewed many of Larsen’s former designers, employees and colleagues. These interviews were audiotaped and transcribed and are now an important source of information available for scholars and admirers of Jack Lenor Larsen.
Funding for these oral histories was provided by a Craft Research Fund Grant from the University of North Carolina, Asheville Center for Craft, Creativity & Design.