University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
School of Architecture College of Design

Jack Lenor Larsen


Jack Lenor Larsen at 90: Transformations By A Textile Innovator


September 22, 2017 - January 8th, 2018


Co-curated by Stephanie Zollinger and Jean McElvain, Jack Lenor Larsen at 90: Transformations by a Textile Innovator opens with a 90th birthday party for and attended by Mr. Larsen himself on September 22, 2017.

For 45 years, Larsen led Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated 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 Incorporated was purchased by the English firm Colefax and Fowler. On the occasion of the purchase, Larsen's entire archive was donated to the University of Minnesota (Elmer L. Andersen Library Archives and the Goldstein Museum of Design [GMD]) and Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

The textiles on exhibit are informed by Larsen’s mastery of craft techniques, technological innovation, and inspiration from global design traditions. The inclusion of drawings, correspondence and production samples makes possible the intriguing narration of the creative process. The Goldstein Museum of Design is proud to contribute to a better understanding of the diversity and complexity of textiles created during the latter half of the 20th Century. 

To learn more about Jack Lenor Larsen and his incredible contributions to the world of textiles, the Goldstein hosts the Jack Lenor Larsen Oral History Project. 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.

Visit here: Jack Lenor Larsen Oral History Project



Goldstein Museum Press Release



Contact Information

Goldstein Museum of Design

364 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-624-7434 |

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