Vera Neumann


c. 1970s
watercolor on paper
installation dimensions variable; 24 x 24 inches each

Vera Neumann was an icon of mid-century American design and used her creative eye to catapult the Vera brand to incredible success in the mid-1970s. Her affinity for drawing and painting was essential in the development of all her designs for apparel, home linens, fashion items, and scarves. Here, her company’s success is evident in these four exuberant watercolors from her Abstract and Floral series. Vera Neumann’s work as a designer indelibly impacted the American visual landscape, from the Truman White House to the sportswear that Perry Ellis designed while working at Vera Companies. She maintained close relationships with her contemporaries in art and design; among her friends were Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, and Marcel Breuer, who designed her home in Westchester and her Garment District showrooms. She has cast a long shadow of influence on contemporary artists interested in design culture, including Polly Apfelbaum, Jim Isermann, Kate Shepherd, and Pae White. Neumann’s designs are represented in the collections of MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.