Object of the Day

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1952-52-7-b lo res
Exotic Landscapes from the Golden Age
This handsome nineteenth century French paper features a block printed pattern of white and gray on a powder-blue background. Rococo Revival scrollwork frames two alternating landscape vignettes of far off and exotic destinations, and the whole pattern repeats vertically. Once scene show idyllic islands topped with classical columned temples. Wind-blown trees, flying gulls and a...
1971-- Matt Flynn 004
Pugin’s Gothic Revival
This grand English wallpaper was designed by A.W.N Pugin in the mid-nineteenth century, and is a prime example of the Gothic Revival style he championed. The brown pattern is block printed and flocked on a metallic gold ground. The pattern features alternating crowned fleur-de-lis and Tudor roses, set within a diaper or ogival framework. The...
1972-42-202-a Matt Flynn
Wallpaper in Bloom
This lovely sidewall is an exceptional example of the art and craft of wallpaper. Made in France during the mid-nineteenth century, it was block printed on handmade paper, and represents the high end of Victorian wallpaper production. Bouquets of pale pink and yellow roses tumble down a satin, mint-green background along with blue morning glories,...
1956-42-101 lo res
New Jersey Nouveau
In 1905, the same year that influential architectural theorist Adolf Loos sounded the modernist rallying cry against ornamentation, a small-town New Jersey designer named Albert Ainsworth decided he was going to go ahead and design a highly ornamental, floral wallpaper anyway. Floppy, mustard-yellow poppies grow from spindly fronds of the same color. A muted, green...
1991-89-107 lo res
Happy Hour
The maker and designer of this 1950s American wallpaper are unknown, but that doesn’t stop it from being awesome. Pineapples, chickens and coffee pots mingle happily with martini glasses, menus and big tuna fish. An assertive group of cherries, lemons and limes reoccur frequently, and a self-satisfied sea lion balances a cocktail on his nose....
1991-89-145 lo res
Scenic Wallpaper and the City
The rapid industrialization and urbanization that occurred in the United States during the mid-20th century made many Americans feel nostalgic for a more bucolic way of life. Landscape wallpaper was a cheap and easy way for people to bring a bit of country living to the city. Equally eager for glimpses of nature were the...
1997-16-2 lo res
Like Art for your Walls, in Repeat
Arguably the most iconic pattern to come out of the English sister-design team Collier Campbell, Cote d’Azur has become popular the world over. Originally intended for textiles, the pattern won the Duke of Edinburgh’s Design Prize in 1984, making the sisters the first women to achieve the distinction. This incarnation is a slightly different colorway...
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Tomitudes
As a graduate student at the Cooper-Hewitt, I experienced a textile collection containing some of the most beautiful and valuable fabrics in the world. But the object I found most intriguing was a mass-produced cotton handkerchief (c.1853) printed with scenes from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Known in its day as a “Tomitude”, the kerchief is a...
Weltformat festival poster. Sections resembling torn paper overlap with one another. Each section is printed in one of the following patterns: black with grey dots, blue rectangular stripes, and pink with maroon circle. In the bottom left corner, on a pink section, scrawled text reads: "Welt / format / plakat / festival / 12.-20.10.13 / Luzern!"
All Torn Up
When Swiss graphic designer Felix Pfäffli was asked to design a poster for the 2013 Weltformat Poster Festival held in Lucerne, he grappled with the “strange duplication” of creating a poster to promote a poster exhibition. He turned to the many posters hung on steel poster walls in the streets for his inspiration.  As posters...