As art dealers know, too many picture buyers are looking for paintings that will "go with the living room drapes." That gave Dealer Reeves Lewenthal an idea: Why not get easel painters to design fabrics as well as paint pictures? "After all," he argued, "Michelangelo designed the costumes for the papal guards."

Back in 1940, Lewenthal persuaded Grant Wood to translate his famed Midnight Ride of Paul Revere into a fabric pattern—but no manufacturer would buy it. Last year Lewenthal tried again, and got Manhattan's huge Riverdale fabric company to print not only Midnight Ride but designs by seven other painters too....

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