Vera Neumann is definitely not a household name even though it should be. Her textiles, illustrations, and designs for the home permeated the 50's, 60's and 70's fashion scene. Her trademark ladybug and flower patterns, and her recognizable first-name-only signature are iconic. I grew up in a house full of Vera placemats, and my mom was swathed in Vera couture from head to toe. My mom was a swinging single in the 70's and her signature scarf around a mop of flaming dyed-red hair was a real attention-getter. The look became engraved in my mind and whenever I see any Vera textiles at thrift shops, I buy them just for old times' sake and because, truthfully, they are more in style now than ever! I love the watercolor flowers, zingy multicolor stripes and charming little scenes depicted in sketch style. Not only was Vera a pioneer in the field of silkscreened placemats and other textiles, she invented mass-marketed Pop art and was ahead of her time in the world of women in business. Vera took charge of her burgeoning company and moved her mom and pop shop that she co-ran with her husband, George Neumann, into the international arena with savvy licensing deals and a constant output of fresh and recognizable product. Chances are very good that you had Vera placemats in your house growing up too (unless you are under 30 which is entirely possible). I was recently browsing the Denver Art Museum book shop and found a brand new book of Vera's designs. I scooped it up instantly and have loved revisiting all of Vera's sumptuous patterns and learning the backstory to this incredible artist and business woman.