Author: Gregory Herringshaw

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“Kew” Me In to Another Floral Wallpaper
As I have mentioned previously floral designs make up the largest grouping of wallpapers in the Cooper Hewitt collection. Many of the very earliest wallpapers in the collection are floral based and they never seem to go out of style. I was attracted to this design for its casual, relaxed nature, and its rather abstract...
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A Sticky Woodgrain
Woodgrain or faux bois designs are another genre with a long running history in wallpaper design. There are examples in the collection that were hand painted, wood block printed, machine printed and lithograph printed. There are most likely digital versions as well but I don’t believe there is an example in the Cooper Hewitt collection,...
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A Humble Floral
Floral wallpapers constitute probably the largest grouping of wallpapers in the Cooper Hewitt collection. Floral designs have always been in fashion since the early days of wallpaper, and appear in every style from neo-classical, to art deco to pop art. Floral designs have also been produced in every printing technique used to produce wallpapers, from...
2012-33-1
Eruption of Color
This striped wallpaper is one pattern from a group of seven which form Irma Boom’s Colour-Based on Nature collection. Working from photographs of UNESCO/World Heritage Sites around the globe, Boom has translated each of the landscapes into a digital color diagram. The diagrams were then translated into striped wallpaper patterns and specially mixed colors were...
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Boys Will Be Boys
This children’s wallpaper is based on the story of Max and Moritz, A Story of Seven Boyish Pranks, written by Wilhelm Busch in 1865. The illustrations are loosely based on the originals and show the characters of Max and Moritz committing one of their pranks; actually it is prank number three played on the friendly...
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All That Flitters…
This wide architectural frieze shows contains scallop shells rendered in high relief, set within arches outlined with egg and dart moldings, between which are wreath-enclosed torches. Above this is a dentil molding. This is printed in numerous shades of gray, with larger fills of complementary colors of red and green. There are also elements printed...
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Walking Beam Sidewheeler
One of the earliest areas where you see a social influence on wallpaper are designs with innovations in mobility. As people began exploring America’s scenic wonders in the 1820s, many Americans satisfied their wanderlust with river excursions, and the Hudson valley became a major destination. It was around this time manufacturers started printing designs that...
2013-9-1
Psyche’s Offering to Venus
Cooper Hewitt has a full set of the Loves of Psyche scenic wallpaper first produced in 1816. The museum’s edition was printed in the early twentieth century using the original woodblocks. This scenic paper is unique on two fronts: it is the only scenic not designed to be continuous, and it is the only scenic...
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Pilgrim’s Progress, the wallpaper
One of the influences on design and technology in the nineteenth century was new information on health and hygiene. It was discovered early in the century that germs cause disease, and there were a number of cholera outbreaks beginning early in the nineteenth century which lasted through most of the century. Wallpaper had always been...