Althea McNish FCSD is a British textile designer of Trinidadian origin who has been called the first British designer of African descent to earn an international reputation. Born in Trinidad, McNish moved to Britain in the 1950s. She attended the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts, Central School of Arts & Crafts and the Royal College of Art. She was associated with the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) in the 1960s, participating in CAM’s exhibitions and seminars and helping to promote Central School of Arts and Crafts, Caribbean Arts to a British public. She was commissioned by Liberty, Ascher for Dior, Hull Traders and Cavendish Textiles. Her work is represented in the collections of The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The Whitworth Museum, Manchester, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Cooper-Hewitt (Smithsonian Design Museum), USA. McNish is a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers and an Honorary Doctor of Fine Art at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. She was married to the jewellery designer John Weiss (21 June 1933 –9 November 2018).
Three fabrics designed by Althea from the collections at Bruce Castle Museum & Archive, showing her famous Golden Harvest design, alongside the purple and greens of her Painted Desert, and the sunshine of her Sunflowers. Designed for Hull Traders, 1957 – 1961
Althea Golden Harvest