Author: Gregory Herringshaw

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Bandbox and lid, Castle Garden, ca. 1830–40; USA; Block-printed paper on wood support; Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt, 1918-19-7-a,b
From Protector to Entertainer, The Different Faces of Castle Garden
The building illustrated on this bandbox has served many purposes over the years. Built in 1808, it originally was used as a stronghold in New York Harbor for the War of 1812 and was first known as Southwest Battery and renamed Castle Clinton in 1817. In 1823 the Federal Government deeded the fort to New...
Polka-dot design with a vertical orientation. Printed in shades of green on a white ground, the size of the dots varies, and each has the appearance of being "dropped" onto the page.
A More Fluid Polka Dot
“Drop” is from J. Abbott Miller’s second collection of wallpaper for Knoll Textiles called “The Ink Collection”. Based on Miller’s experiments with the liquid movement of ink, and how ink reacts as it moves across the surface of paper, each design has a random look but still maintains a feeling of control. “Drop” forms a...
A large medallion of pastoral scene. In foreground, young woman feeding pigeons, a lamb bedside her; ruined tower in distance. Enclosing framework of rococo scrolls and foliage. Garden tools, doves and roses. Printed in gold, green and apricot on slate-gray field.
Landscape Views
The Livingston is a pattern inspired by an earlier wallpaper design, and gets its name from the home in which the antique document was found. It is said the wallpaper fragments were scraped off the walls of the Livingston manor house in Catskill, New York and mailed to the Birge Company. The original design was...
Gathered blue drapery with lace edging in white. Blue ribbon caught with medallions along bottom edge; was probably meant to be cut out to use as chair rail. Both motifs are ornamented with white pearls and black scroll and bead design.
Drape the Walls
The great degree of realism achieved in this wallpaper border was created with the use of relatively few (about ten) colors. To achieve a true sense of depth in any given motif, be it a flower or drapery, the design needs to be printed in five to six different shades, with a different wood block...
Sidewall, 1918-23
A Sophisticated Floral
While Ruhlmann is better known for his beautifully designed and executed furniture and interior decoration, he also designed a number of wallpapers. This is an early design produced before he got into his brightly colored Art Deco phase. While still drawing upon an Art Nouveau aesthetic with its meandering vines and organic nature, the restrained...
Bandbox and Lid, “Sandy Hook”, 1935
Sandy Hook Light House
Bandboxes were principally used between 1800-1850. They were initially designed to store and transport men’s collar bands but evolved into other uses such as hat boxes and general carry-all’s. During the 1830s many boxes were printed with historical scenes, marking events and places of interest. This design is printed on a deep blue ground to...
Frieze, 1900-05
A Hunting We Will Go
Landscape friezes were popularized by Walter Crane’s May Tree frieze in 1896 and remained popular into the 1920s. Beginning around 1900 many wide friezes were developed for children, and this hunting frieze would have been appropriate for a boy’s room as well as a library or dining room. This panel shows the hunters, horses and...
Sidewall, “Tudor Rose”, 1874-1920
Tynecastle Canvas
This Tudor Rose pattern of Tynecastle Canvas is one of a very few textile wallcoverings in the Museum’s collection. Tudor Rose consists of a single repeating element, a foliage sprig with a dominant tudor rose along with several smaller flowers. This motif is tightly melded with its repeating cohorts so forms a nice all-over pattern,...
Frieze, 1900
Creating a Beautiful Learning Environment for Children
After viewing this wallpaper frieze in the collection numerous times and always being enamored by its simplicity and charm, I finally took the initiative to do some research to see what it actually was. Stylized birds and peacock feathers are intertwined with a scrolling rinceau pattern, creating a delightful frieze pattern. The design is rendered in a...