A carpet with a design of abstracted flowers, circles, and fish-shaped forms in blue, green, and beige on a black ground.


Designed circa 1929, reproduced 2022

Joseph Urban (American, b. Austria, 1872-1933), designer
Langhorne Carpet Co. (American, est. 1930), manufacturer of reproduction


A vibrant and energetic pattern of abstracted flowers in ivory, greens and blues punctuates the midnight blue ground of the Wormser Bedroom carpet. Urban often designed carpets and rugs with intricate patterns for his spaces. A former assistant recalled, “This was a favorite device of his. Without being insistent, without the viewer being conscious of the fact, Urban would unify various spaces or emphasize one space…. In practically all of his interiors, the design of the carpet was one of the most important features.” The original watercolor design sketch for this carpet was located among the artist’s papers. Urban used a wool carpet of this same design in his Yonkers studio and in the dining room he created for Chicago’s Congress Hotel (1932).

Note the large sheepdog lying on the carpet in Urban’s home studio. Urban’s wife Mary raised sheepdogs on their Yonkers estate, and his daughter Gretl recalled, “Occasionally there were puppies, and quite often they made little drops here and there, so he designed a special carpet with flowers on it so the spots wouldn’t show. He said the flowers were there for the dogs to smell.”