Member Program: The Global Influences Behind Marimekko Designs

Detail of a textile with rows of rectangles in varying shades of red
Fujiwo Ishimoto for Marimekko Design House, "Ciombre" (detail), Finland, late 20th century. Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-2045. Photo by Bruce M. White Photography.


Join Librarian Tracy Meserve to learn about the global influences behind the designs of one of the most famous textile firms of the 20th century, Marimekko, through examples from the Cotsen Textiles Traces Study Collection.

Founded in 1949, Marimekko has been worn by famous figures such as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (CCAS ’51) and has collaborated with major retail stores like Target and Uniqlo. Prominent designers for the firm, including Maija Isola and Fujiwo Ishimoto, have created colorful and graphic designs with inspiration from Japanese, Indian and Eastern European textiles. 

About the Collection

The Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection represents a lifetime of collecting by business leader and philanthropist Lloyd Cotsen (1929-2017) and is one of the world’s most significant textile study collections ever assembled. The nearly 4,000 fragments offer insights into human creativity around the world and from antiquity to the present. Cornerstones of the collection include fragments from Japan, China, pre-Columbian Peru, and 16th- to 18th-century Europe.

About Tracy Meserve

Tracy Meserve is the librarian for the museum’s Arthur D. Jenkins Library. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from GW and a master's in library science from the University of Maryland. Meserve formerly served as youth services manager at the Alexandria Public Library, a librarian at D.C. Public Library and a publications assistant at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

How to Participate

This program is for museum members and will take place on Zoom. If you are already a member, please register online, and we will email you the Zoom link and instructions. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (1 p.m. EDT / 10 a.m. PDT). If you are not currently a member, you can join or renew online.

About Member Programs

Support the museum and enjoy access to special members-only programs, including curator talks and behind-the-scenes tours. Browse upcoming programs