Marimekko collection,
1951-1979 (bulk 1957-1979)
SIL-CH.1997-123-1

Summary
Collection ID:
SIL-CH.1997-123-1
Creators:
Marimekko, Inc.
Dates:
1951-1979
bulk 1957-1979
Languages:
Undetermined
Physical Description:
8.5 cubic feet
Repository:
Smithsonian Libraries
This collection covers the period that Ratia was with Marimekko, 1951-1979.It includes scrapbook, press releases, correspondence, brochures, photographs, magazine articles, swatches, and trade catalogs. It contains extensive information about the company's affiliation with D/R and its operations in Finland. It includes a copy of "Phenomenon Marimekko," the catalog from a comprehensive exhibition that was held at the Museum of Applied Arts in Helsinki in 1986. The collection contains legal correspondence and contracts pertaining to D/R's representation of Marimekko in the United States, as well as numerous swatches, sample books, brochures for stockholders, and trade catalogs. Files pertaining to Marimekko's work in Finland is mostly in Finnish and consists of brochures, posters, articles, and sample books, as well as a copy of the publication, "Design in Finland 1983."Additional information on Marimekko's association with D/R can be found in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive's Design Research, Inc. Collection.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
Unprocessed. This collection consists of six record groups: 1) Company history and background information; 2) Marimekko/Design Research, Inc. Correspondence; 3) Marimekko Finland; 4) Scrapbooks and press clippings; 5) Swatches and samples; and 6) Photographs.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Finnish fabric manufacturer and retail chain. The company's chief designer was Armi Ratia (1912-1979), who was known for her use of vibrant colors and large patterns. She first joined her husband's design firm, Printex, in 1949. In 1951, the company was renamed Marimekko, which means "a little dress for Mary" in Finnish. During the 1960s and '70s, the firm manufactured cotton, jersey, and wool fabrications, along with paper, laminated plastics, and table coverings. Ratia was known for designing free, easy fashions in bold painterly designs taking much of her inspiration from nature and handicraft.
Ben Thompson, the founder of the retail establishment Design Reseaach, Inc. (D/R), discovered Ratia's designs at the Finnish Pavilion of the Brussels World Fair in 1957, and persuaded her to come to the United States. D/R became the exclusive representative of Marimekko products in the U.S. Today, through franchises worldwide, Marimekko stores sell simple clothing for women and children, as well as household accessories and furniture.

Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Textiles Department. 28 printed textiles designed by or for Marimekko.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Wallcoverings Department. One samplebook.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Marimekko Homepage. Additional information on the history of the company and its activities today can be found on Marimekko's homepage: http://www.marimekko.fi/.

Other Finding Aids note
Other Finding Aids note
No finding aid.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Design Research, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marimekko Oy. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printex Corporation. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ratia, Armi, 1912-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thompson, Benjamin, 1918-2002 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clothing trade--United States Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Costume design--Finland Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fashion design Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fashion designers Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Home furnishings designers Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
House furnishings Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interior decoration--Finland Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Retail trade--United States Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stores, Retail--United States Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Swatch books Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Textile design--Finland Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Textile designersa Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trade catalogs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Libraries
Smithsonian Libraries
P.O. Box 37012
NMAH 1041, MRC 672
Washington, DC, 20013-7012
Phone: (202) 633-3872
libmail@si.edu