Views of the American War of Independence

Views of the American War of Independence was first printed by Zuber in 1852. This paper illustrates the American Revolution in four scenes using the background imagery from an earlier scenic wallpaper called Views of North America first printed by Zuber in 1834. All of the scenes for North America were modifications of original drawings by naturalist painter J. Milbert in 1828, whose drawings illustrate the new practice of showing realistic renderings of landscapes rather than one composed in a studio.
wallpaper, scenic, panorama, papier peint, George Washington, American Revolution

Letting the Past Beautify The Future

Memory Wallpaper was created by Canadian designer Cynthia Hathaway. Hathaway was born and raised in Ontario and was an artistic director at the Design Academy in Eindhoven before starting her own firm in Amsterdam. This design is die-cut on a walnut grain adhesive vinyl. To give you some background on this material, Vinyl wallcoverings were introduced in 1947; self-adhesive vinyl was first patented under the brand name of Con-Tact in 1954. Con-Tact was 100% plastic with a pressure-sensitive back that stuck on contact to almost any surface.
wallpaper, self-adhesive, vinyl, log cabin, wood grain, cuckoo clock

Everybody Must Get Stoned

This is an imitation stone design. I’m not sure what type of stone this is but the colors are quite intense and there is no question this is supposed to look like an actual stone surface. This is woodblock-printed in five colors on a blue ground, with one wood block needed to print each color. Woodblock printing is a very precise process and if the blocks are not printed in the correct order and on register the design does not read correctly. I mention this fact because at first glance this design appears to be hand painted because it is difficult to pinpoint the exact repeat.
wallpaper, stone, imitation, blue, wood block print

Scratch and Sniff Wallpaper

This is one of my favorite novelty papers as it is not only visually attractive but appeals to a number of other senses as well. I find myself drawn to the use of complementary colors, with the bright red cherries on the green foil background. Designed by Michael Angelo and produced by Flavor Paper, Cherry Forever is the first commercially produced scratch & sniff wallpaper so it also appeals to one’s sense of smell. To release that fragrance it must be scratched so touching is encouraged.
wallpaper, cherry, foil, scratch and sniff, fragrant

Capturing the Majesty of Niagara Falls on Wallpaper

This view of Niagara Falls is one scene from the scenic wallpaper Views of North America first produced by the French firm Zuber et Cie in 1834. This scenic contains 32 panels and shows some of the natural wonders of the continent: New York bay, Boston harbor, West Point, & the natural bridge of Virginia. Scenic wallpapers were introduced around 1804 and remained popular with new designs being introduced until 1865. Zuber is still printing a number of these early designs today, using the original woodblocks.
wallpaper, scenic, panorama, Niagara Falls, Zuber, block print

Transform Your Bathing Experience

This is a scenic wallpaper designed for your bathroom. Called Sea Beauties, this was lithograph printed in Germany around 1930. The lithograph printing gives it a very soft look, almost like a watercolor, and because it is printed with oils is water resistant. Washable wallpapers as we know them today were not developed until 1934 and lithograph prints were one of the early wipeable papers. This set is composed of three panels, each 40 inches wide by over five feet high.
bathroom, fish, underwater, bathing, water, wallpaper

A Modern Bird

This art-deco style wallcovering was created in the early twentieth century in France. It was first featured as an advertisement for its importer, W.H.S.  Lloyd Co., in the March 1930 edition of House Beautiful. W.H.S.  Lloyd Co. was a significant importer of English, French and Japanese wall hangings, so they definitely had a distinct eye for collecting beautiful wallcoverings around the world.  Literally translated into the “Modern Bird”, this wallcovering is a premier example of the French modern movement.
bird, modern, wallpaper, oiseau, moderne, machine print, Art Deco

Wallpaper that Expands Your Horizons

Wide landscape friezes were popularized by Walter Crane in 1896 and remained in vogue until around 1913. The use of these friezes led to a more simplified wall treatment in the Mission interior, and even though multiple patterns were still being used on a wall, the frieze became the dominant element. Wide friezes were usually hung at the top of the wall where the perspective shown in the landscapes visually expanded the size of the room.
wallpaper, frieze, landscape, repeat, mission

Alexander Girard for Herman Miller

Alexander Girard was trained as an architect and began practicing architecture and interior design in the 1920s, and became the design director for Herman Miller’s textile division in 1952. Girard also became fascinated by international folk art which he began collecting on his travels in the 1930s and managed to amass over 100,000 pieces including toys, costumes, masks, textiles, beadwork and paintings. This formal training as an architect and love of folk art designs are two streams of inspiration apparent in Girard’s work.
Girard, sample book, wallpaper, folk art, Herman Miller

For the Not-so-Minimal Interior

The simplistic styling of the poppies frieze shows the effect of the Mission Style on the American interior. Gone are the embossed surfaces, metallic pigments, scrolling medallions, and other excesses of the Victorian period. The floral motifs have been reduced to their most basic elements while still appearing to have some depth. Traditionally a block-printed design would use about 6 colors to shade each given element, while here the entire design is printed in 7.
wallpaper, frieze, border, poppy, ingrain, Mission style