[Screengrabs from The Design Library video]
Based in Connecticut for more than a century, Cheney Bros. was the first successful silk manufacturer in the U.S. According to TDL, this new acquisition encompasses thousands of samples of Cheney's jacquard production plus early European textiles from the Parisian Holzach Collection. (Over the years, Cheney bought numerous old French fabrics for reference.)
[Water-lily textile, 1883–1900. Associated Artists (New York City, 1883–1907); Cheney Brothers (South Manchester, Connecticut, 1838–1955), manufacturer. Warp-printed silk. Given to The Met by Mrs. Boudinot Keith in 1928.]
The Met served as another source of inspiration for Cheney and the Museum also holds in its collection examples of the manufacturers' silks. The one above caught my eye. It was designed by the woman-run firm of another design pioneer, Candace Wheeler. According to the Museum, this "shadow silk" generated major buzz in the design press when it was first seen in 1885.