wallpaper

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The Empire Strikes Back
This swishy trompe l’oeil wallpaper is currently on view in the Cooper Hewitt’s interactive immersion room, which is a wonderful place to visit on a dreary February afternoon. Block printed in shades of grey and yellow, this grisaille drapery pattern was produced by French manufacturer, Robert Caillard, and distributed in the United States by the...
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For the Love of Books
Today, let’s talk books. Or rather, a trompe l’oeil wallpaper printed to appear like a well-stocked bookcase in someone’s library. This is one of the livelier, not to mention convincing, bookcase wallpapers I have seen. And it’s no wonder, it was created by the brilliant decorator, muralist and trompe l’oeil painter Richard Lowell Neas. Many...
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It’s Black and White and Read All Over
White Room with Text takes Tracy Kendall’s signature cut and sewn construction one step further with the addition of text. This paper is based on Kendall’s In the White Room first produced in 2002 when it was shown at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York. This is another design from Kendall’s collection...
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Wainscot and Windmills
This is another odd little wallpaper that intrigued me for a long time. It is just a small fragment showing a wood molding and inset panel with gilt bronze mounts. My first thought is that it was a dado panel and would run horizontally along the bottom of the wall, between the chair rail and...
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Of the Stovepipe Variety
The founders of the Cooper Hewitt collection, Eleanor, Sarah and Amelia Hewitt, had a passion for bandboxes and over the course of their tenure had amassed nearly 100 boxes, creating one of the larger collections of such boxes in the United States. The majority of the boxes in the collection are about hat box size,...
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Draping the Walls
Elinor Merrill was the pre-eminent New York dealer of antique European textiles and wallcoverings. A specialist in French textiles, Merrill served as a consultant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to the Art Institute of Chicago. She also assisted in the development of the collections of the Cooper Hewitt and the Winterthur museums. After...
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The Emperor’s Fantastic Clothes
This elaborate Rococo-revival wallpaper incorporates several different techniques. The print is an applied lithograph, the salmon-color framework is woodblock printed, and the gold is a stamped metal foil. The application of the stamped foil embosses the paper as the foil is being applied, creating a much richer and more reflective surface than a printed gold...
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Would You Like a Drink with the Vacation?
After the dust had settled from WWII, people were ready to get back to (or experience for the first time) the good life that had been interrupted by decades of war and depression. These desires manifested quite literally on wallpapers, and during the 1950s there was a trend for designs depicting everything from household appliances...
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Dandelions
This sidewall was designed by the firm Denst & Soderlund in 1952-53. Thin, wavering black lines radiate out from a central point forming a large round motif resembling a dandelion flower gone to seed. The motif is repeated vertically on the panel, and is so large that it only takes two “dandelions” to cover the...