Enid Marx’s 121st Birthday

Enid Marx’s 121st Birthday

Born on 20 October 1902, Enid Marx was an inspirational designer, author, collector and teacher who is best known for designing the seating fabric for the London Underground and postage stamps that marked the start of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

As well as designing for Transport for London, Curwen Press and the wartime Utility Furniture Scheme among others, in 1944 she became the first ever woman engraver to be designated by the Royal Society of Arts as a Royal Designer for Industry.

Enid Marx at Compton Verney in 1995 © Andy Swerdlow

A blue plaque was unveiled at her house in London last year which has reignited an interest in her life and influence on design. Here at Compton Verney, we are lucky to house her impressive collection of English Folk Art which she formed with her partner, the historian Margaret Lambert.

Marx-Lambert Collection © Compton Verney

From gingerbread moulds and corn dollies to Victorian trinkets and china, the collection inspired Enid’s own work which also features in our collection.

For example, the ceramic wall vases ‘Cornucopia or Horns of Plenty’ from about 1890 in her folk art collection can be seen to influence her curtain fabric design of 1938.

Cornucopia wall-mounted vases © Compton Verney, photo by Ken Adlard
Block printed curtains, designed by Enid Marx © Estate of Enid Marx

Today, visitors to the Marx-Lambert Collection at Compton Verney can explore ‘Marco’s Design Cabinet’ and find out how she made her patterns.

Visit the collection and cabinet Tuesday-Sunday, 10:30am-5pm.

plan your visit browse the collection