An Ode To LongHouse Reserve Founder Jack Lenor Larsen

Rachel Feinblatt | January 11, 2021 | People

On December 22, 2020, the world lost a very special icon of the design industry. Jack Lenor Larsen's creativity reflects in his weaving, textile making and in the discovery of LongHouse Reserve. His legacy will certainly live on, as he has impacted the fashion and design industry in more ways than one. Let’s take a moment to reflect and celebrate his amazing accomplishments over 93 well-lived years.

LongHouse Reserve

133 Hands Creek Rd., East Hampton / Website

One of the greatest Hamptons art explorations, this 16-acre garden and arts center was founded in 1992. Located in the heart of Easthampton, the magnificent the property promotes creativity with beautiful sculptures and a scenic view of East Hampton’s Peter’s Pond. As a non-profit, it lives out Larsen’s vision to foster and promote creativity and innovation for visitors and the community at large.

Jack Lenor Larsen Inc.

Larsen always had an eye for textiles in design. In the 1950s, he founded Jack Lenor Larsen Inc. as a design studio in New York City. We see his lasting legacy on the textile industry, as his incorporation of Asian, African and indigenous patterns continue to influence the recent collections of modern designers. One of his most recent works was a textile collection in Sunbrella performance yarns, with an international reach under the Cowtan & Tout Larsen brand. Today, he continues to influence the textile industry with his yarn work and modern designs.

Special Recognition and Honors

His work in the art and textile industry has received recognition by many near and far. The American Craft Council, The American Institute of Architects, The Aspen Design Conference, The New School, Interior Design’s Hall of Fame and The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum have all honored Larsen for his extraordinary work in the craft and design fields. He has received honorary doctorates from The Parsons School of Design, The Fashion Institute, The Rhode Island School of Design, and both the Royal College of Art and the Royal Society of Art in London, England. His works have been indefinitely kept in some of the most prestigious museums in the nation, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Victoria & Albert Museum.

World Travels

Larsen’s travels brought his work around the globe. As previously noted, much of his work was influenced by these travels, wherein he shared his distinctive techniques with others and learned from them as well. His collaborations with weavers in Japan, Southeast Asia, India and Africa allowed expanded his textile empire. It also afforded him the chance to teach his unique method to others, leaving a lasting legacy in more than 30 countries.

Literary Works

In addition to his fine textile work, Larsen wrote 10 books throughout his lifetime. His most recent, Learning from LongHouse, published by Pointed Leaf Press in 2016, shows not only his artistic vision behind LongHouse Reserve but also his impact. From memoirs to artistic visions, his books align successfully to capture his stylistic choices.

Photography by: Courtesy of LongHouse Reserve