Bernat Klein’s vision about design, colour and creative practice continues to inspire.
To mark the centenary of the birth of Bernat Klein (1922 - 2014), the foundation is publishing a book 'Bernat Klein', which will accompany a retrospective exhibition 'Bernat Klein - Design in Colour' at the National Museum of Scotland, opening on 5 November 2022 until 23 April 2023.
The foundation is coordinating a series of events including talks and workshops, which will be promoted on Instagram @bernatkleinfoundation
Bernat Klein’s life-long interest in ideas and innovation, created a highly individual and substantive contribution to design, architecture, and the visual arts. Living and working in the Scottish Borders from 1951 until 2014, he developed an international profile as a textile designer, colourist, and manufacturer, who also commissioned two of Scotland’s foremost modernist buildings by architect Peter Womersley – High Sunderland (1957) and the Bernat Klein Studio (1972).
Launched in 2018, the Foundation is committed to developing and managing the legacy of Bernat Klein (1922 - 2014). Our website is continually updated with new and inspirational content to provide an open resource for all.
The work of the foundation is generously supported by the William Grant Foundation, Creative Scotland, and the Heritage Lottery Fund. If you would like to support or donate to the foundation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Harley has worked in senior roles in art and design higher education in Scotland and internationally. In 2012 she interviewed Bernat Klein about his work as a designer, artist and industrialist, at his home High Sunderland. Since 2016 Alison has worked as an independent researcher and practitioner developing her particular interest in Bernat Klein, which has been shared through publication and exhibition. Alison is a Founding Trustee and Chair of the Bernat Klein Foundation.
Maggie Marr has worked in textiles and business development across Scotland’s public and private sectors. These have included initiatives with local councils for regional regeneration, as well as educational and business development in Further and Higher Education in Scotland, which includes Shetland, and The Outer Hebrides. Maggie’s specialist expertise is currently focused on business improvement for the textile industries in Scotland and Ireland. Maggie is a Founding Trustee of the Bernat Klein Foundation
Jonathan Klein (only son of Bernat and Margaret Klein) has spent his working life as an academic, and is currently an Associate Professor working in the field of Management Science at the Southampton Business School (University of Southampton). Jonathan has published extensively in academic journals, and his research focuses on particular interests in problem structuring and solving, and their role in healthcare management. Jonathan is also a keen musician and singer-songwriter.
Jana Hutt has worked in skills, quality and business development at senior levels with organisations such as Highland and Islands Enterprise, and as an independent auditor for government training schemes. She has also contributed to the Scottish Children’s Panel and as a Board Member for UHI Moray College. As Chair of the Knockando Woolmill Trust Jana led a major restoration project with trustees to raise £3.55 million, establishing a heritage-based commercial company in 2009.
Lisa Mason is Assistant Curator in Art & Design at National Museums Scotland and has worked on the creation of four new Art & Design galleries, funded by the Heritage Lottery and opened in 2016. Detailed knowledge of Bernat Klein was developed through the Clothworkers Foundation project, which funded the archiving of his collection of some 4000 objects. Lisa studied textile design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, followed by History of Art, University of Edinburgh.
Wendy has worked within the Scottish textile industry since first graduating from Glasgow School of Art in printed and woven textile design in 2009. She is an advocate of design thinking and collaboration between traditional businesses and creative practice. With over ten years' experience in creating marketing strategies, Wendy launched her consultancy practice Concept Counsel in 2020. Wendy is currently working on a range of ambitious projects that transform creative vision into tangible ideas and plans, with a particular focus on customer experience and brand awareness.
Following her first career with the NHS, Emma is now completing her undergraduate degree for the award of BA (Hons) in Design for Textiles, at the School of Textile and Design, Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels. In her specialist area of knitted textiles, Emma aligns with the principles of ‘Sustainable Fashion Scotland,’ which seeks to promote a circular economy where clothes and textiles are treasured, as opposed to thrown away. She has a deep interest in the whole textile process, exploring fibre and yarn construction through the practice of processing, spinning and dyeing of natural fibres. In 2021 Emma was the winner of the Bernat Klein Foundation Award.
Michael Wolchover studied interior and furniture design at Central St Martins, and has since pursued a career in photography and interpretation of the built environment, always with an interest in textiles. More recently, an opportunity to photograph the house and studio at High Sunderland for the Bernat Klein exhibition at Dovecot Studios, brought these two themes very neatly together and prompted a desire to help keep the Klein legacy alive. Now based in Fife, Michael is also involved with design projects celebrating the heritage of the linen industry.
Shona Sinclair is the Curator for Live Borders Museums, Galleries and Archives, in the Scottish Borders. With over twenty-five years of curatorial experience, Shona has led the development of many innovative museum projects in the Scottish Borders, including the opening of Borders Textile Towerhouse in Hawick in 2010. Shona’s interest and study of Bernat Klein has led to the development of a museum collection of over hundred examples that explore his life and career in the Borders Textile Industry. Shona studied in the School of Textiles at Heriot-Watt University, followed by Museum Studies at St Andrews University. Shona is an Associated Member of the Museums Association.
Brian Wilson is a Chartered Management Accountant and Chartered Company Secretary with wide commercial experience as a Finance Director at British Gas Retail, Interim Finance Director at Manchester Airport, United Utilities and S&A Foods. He was Director and In-house Accountant of Bernat Klein Design 1978 – 1981. More recently, Brian has served at Board level in NHS Leicestershire Primary Care Trust and on the Board of a division of Riverside Housing Association. He has also served as a Trustee of the Centrica Pension Fund, and is on the Boards of several local charities in Leicester. Brian also holds a BA in American Studies from Leicester University.
Patron Mary Schoeser
Mary Schoeser has written a diverse set of publications (26 books, over 50 essays in books and over 120 shorter pieces), which include World Textiles: A concise history (T&H: 2003), Silk (Yale University Press, 2007), Sanderson: The Essence of English Decoration (T&H: 2010) and Textiles: The art of mankind (Thames & Hudson, 2012 and 2013). In the 1980s she was the Archivist for Warner & Sons, and since 1991 she has acted as a consultant archivist to numerous enterprises including Collier Campbell, Laura Ashley, Liberty of London, MYB Textiles, Sanderson, Scottish Borders Studio, and Watts & Co, expanding her knowledge of manufacturers and understanding of textile and wallpaper production itself. This has facilitated restoration work with English Heritage, The National Trust, and other historic property owners (most recently Clivedon’s electric canoe!) and also informed 36 curatorial projects, from the permanent Elizabeth Hoare Embroidery Gallery at Liverpool Cathedral (opened 1992) and, more recently, Off the Wall: American Art to Wear at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2019-2020), co-curated with Dilys Blum, with an accompanying Yale publication. Extensive academic experience includes a research position at Central Saint Martins (2000-2011), and in 2016 Mary received an Honorary Senior Research Fellowship from the V&A Museum, focused on 19th century silks in Spitalfields and the East of England. President of the Textile Society, she is also Patron of the Bernat Klein Foundation and School of Textiles, Coggeshall.
Mary Schoeser MA FRSA
The formation of the Bernat Klein Foundation was generously supported by the William Grant Foundation, and is a Scottish Charitable Trust SC048002.