Silver Studio Collection

The Silver Studio Collection is a great resource for anyone interested in the history of domestic interiors, or in printed pattern, and for anyone looking for visual inspiration for creative projects.

The Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture developed from a number of collections acquired by Middlesex University between the late 1960s and the 1990s. The first and most important of these was the Silver Studio Collection, which was given to what was then the Hornsey College of Art in 1966.

What was the Silver Studio?

The Silver Studio was founded in 1880 by Arthur Silver.  It was a commercial design practice, based in Brook Green, Hammersmith, London. Between 1880 and 1963 the Studio’s designers completed more than 20,000 designs for items such as furnishing fabrics, wallpapers, tablecloths, rugs and carpets.

The Silver Studio employed a number of designers, some of whom were well known in their own right, and others whose work remained anonymous.  The Silver Studio’s customers were retailers and manufacturers of wallpapers and textiles both in Britain and abroad.

What is the Silver Studio Collection?

After it closed in the early 1960s the contents of the Silver Studio were given to the Hornsey College of Art, which subsequently became part of what is now Middlesex University.  The Collection includes wallpapers, textiles and original designs on paper, as well as archival papers relating to the Silver Studio as a business.

The Silver Studio Collection is now well used as a resource for both historical and visual inspiration by students and researchers.  It is Designated by Arts Council England as a collection that is of national and international quality and significance.

We’ve also put together a short online reading list about the Silver Studio.