Somethings Wonderful This Way Came

Somethings Wonderful This Way Came
1970's Vintage Caftan in At Play

About Harwood Steiger

Harwood Steiger opened a silk screening studio in Tubac, AZ, in 1956.  Working closely with his wife, Sophie, they produced hundreds of desert centric designs in a multitude of colors over a 30 year period.  Mr. Steiger is originally from New York and worked in Martha's Vinyard and New York City before finally making a home in Red Hook, New York.  Mr. Steiger would work from his New York home during the summer when he would design and hand cut the silk screen stencils.  In September, the couple would travel to Tubac where they screened and sold the fabrics from the adobe studio until the onset of intense summer heat in May. 

Mr. Steiger was an important "first colonist" in Tubac where he helped found the Santa Cruz Valley Artists Associaton and recruited many of the early working artists for the village of Tubac, now known as, "Where the Arts Meet History." 

Many of the designs were produced in three basic categories:  table linens (tablecloths, place mats, tea towels), all over designs in yardage, and dress panels.  The dress panels are particularly interesting in that they were central stand alone designs, printed on permanent press poly cotton blends and sold in two yard lengths....just enough to create a simple shift. 

Harwood Steiger textiles became enormously popular with visitors traveling through Tubac.  Because of that, examples are being discovered from as far away as Canada.  They were no less popular with locals, as well.  A recent trip to Tubac turned up nearly 100 examples held by local residents all these years.  The colors remain bright, almost as if only printed yesterday. 

Harwood Steiger textiles remain popular today and are prized among collectors of fabric.  The cactus, roadrunners, quails, and botanical subjects of his desert designs are quintessential Harwood Steiger.  Less easily recognized are the wonderful abstracts, tropicals and Aztec designs, which are non-the-less wonderful. 

Mr. Steiger died at the age of 80 in Tubac and is buried in New York.  Following his death, the studio continued to operate under the guidance of his sister-in-law, Wanda Harlbuchs, until only a few years ago.  It is said by those who knew him that he was a hard working, dedicated artist and a good man.