Modern Times, New Opportunities
In the nineteenth century the private world of the home was considered to be women's only natural domain. In the early years of the twentieth century modernising attitudes and necessity of circumstance brought new opportunities for women to work and to play a more visible role in public life. The Suffrage campaign raised awareness of women's right to vote, and in department stores and offices women were increasingly accepted as shop-floor workers and typists. In the arts, the perception that women intrinsically understood the material aspirations and desires of female consumers opened new opportunities for women to become designers for products and advertising.
The Silver Studio designed decorative patterns for furnishing and fashion textiles and wallpapers. The names of seventeen women designers appear in the Silver Studio Daybooks, including Miss Simms, Miss Gilbert and Miss Fahey. In some instances only first names have been recorded, and the designs which survive in MoDA's archives are the only record of the time these women spent working as designers for the Silver Studio.