Modernist embroideries by Marian Stoll

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Three Modernist Embroideries by Marian Stoll.

As a well known lover of the art of textiles, I am pleased to share these three embroideries from my personal collection.

As happens to me time and again, I first encountered Marian Stoll’s work when I found and purchased an extraordinary embroidered firescreen in a junk shop in Cirencester. On researching the monogrammed textile, I was thrilled to learn more about this avant garde but now sadly neglected artist.

Marion Stoll (1879- 1960)

Marian Stoll was born and educated in America. She moved to Europe and played an active part in the artistic communities of Germany and Austria, before settling for some years in Oxford. She later moved to Paris and spent time in Greece. In 1931 she returned to the USA. In 1940 her work was published in Time magazine.

Her work was also featured in a special number of The Studio Magazine, MODERN EMBROIDERY by Mary Hogarth, in 1933, in which Hogarth wrote:

“(This) needle painting is carried out in four ply zephyr wools on a thick linen ground……. The picture is carried out in an irregular split stitch, as offering absolute freedom and informality of execution; so used and massed it is as free as a swinging brush stroke. No formal stitch is employed……”

What an innovation, spontaneous stitching to a Fine Art conclusion!

Marion Stoll’s clients included:

Siegfried Sassoon, Aldous Huxley, John Masefield. Lytton Strachey, Ottoline Morrel, Lady Gwendolen

Churchill, Lady Asquith, Lord Henry Bentick and The Duke of Portland.

She exhibited at:

Walker Gallery, London in 1923.

Oxford Arts Club, Oxford, November – December 1925.

Victoria and Albert Museum. 1932.

Let the lady herself have the last word:

“I still feel that Posthumous fame is better than present comfort and ease.”

(Letter to Lady Ottoline Morrel, 10th February 1929.)

With thanks to my fellow enthusiast Esther Fitzgerald.