In this decorative textile work, two wide-eyed tigers skulk behind a variety of broad leaved plants. Jeanne Stubbing has created a rich variety of surface marks through the process of appliqué – overlaying a patchwork of coloured and patterned fabric pieces with embroidered stitching. The title suggests that Stubbing was concerned about the fate and near extinction of the wild tiger – a creature that was hunted in the 1950s when she made the work, which remains a threatened species today.
Little or nothing is known about Jeanne Stubbing. ‘They Hunt the Velvet Tiger’ was purchased from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1954 with money from the Minister's Special Fund for works of art. This Special Fund was set up by David Eccles, the Minister of Works in late 1952. Up to 1958, he secured donations of money and works of art from individuals and private companies to enhance the Government Art Collection. About £17,000 was received in total and around 400 works of art were purchased, including Stubbing’s textile piece.
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