Astrid Sampe (1909-2002)
Astrid Sampe was born in Stockholm, but has her roots in Sjuhäradsbygden (Seven counties region). During the years 1928 – 32, when she attended the College of Applied Art in Stockholm, she was given the opportunity of pursuing parallel studies at the Royal College of Art in London. After having completed her education, Astrid made several journeys in Europe.
In 1935 she was given a position at NK and became the manager of the then newly created NK Textile Studio in 1936, where she became the legendary leader of the artistic work up to her retirement in 1971.
It was she who set in motion the project ”Signed Textile” that was launched at NK in 1954. The aim of the project and the collection was to create materials with strict graphic patterns for public interiors, both for big theatre-curtains and for small windows in ships and trains. It was widely considered a great achievement that Sampe managed to rally so many well-known names for the collection and later on this contributed more than anything else to stress the importance of the designer behind the pattern. Earlier the designers of patterns were never given a prominent place in marketing.
Astrid herself contributed with three patterns: ”Angles”, ”Soft Sand” and ”Thermidor”. ”Thermidor” is a simple and strict pattern, printed on a bleached half-linen quality with stripes in yellowish green, dark brown, orange and light brown.