wallpaper

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1997-12-6 lo res
Barbecue Party
The weather in New York City is playing a funny joke right now. Visible from the windows of the Cooper Hewitt are sunny blue skies, trees with new green leaves, tulips, daffodils and some cheeky birds flirting with each other. After gray winter months of slush and ice, the city beckons with the promise of...
44400_f3c1ba8ccc49d2a4_b[1]
Innovative Printers in Brooklyn
Murals became a fashionable wall decoration in the mid-twentieth century. Murals differ slightly from scenic wallpapers in that most were designed to cover a single wall, or to separate or highlight a section of a larger wall, where scenic wallpapers were designed to run continuously around a room. Many mural designs could also be continuous...
1950-111-10
Blossoms and Birds
The exuberance of pre-WWI style is captured with great panache in this French sidewall c. 1905 – 1913. Cherry blossoms, hanging orchids and host of other gigantic pink flowers burst out from a gnarled moss-laden branch, which snakes its way up the panel. An in-your-face cockatoo, rendered in riotous rainbow colors sits front and center,...
1981-17-1-b lo res
A Transition in Trends
Vertically stacked archways and medallions made of Moorish tiles frame views of architecture from far off lands in this sidewall from the last quarter of the nineteenth-century. An Indian Gazebo, Turkish Mosque, French Chateau and even an onion-domed Russian church all make appearances. Palm trees, flocks of storks, waterfalls and elegant stone staircases add to...
1956-5-5
Queen Anne’s Lace
Neutral tones and subtle pattern define this mid-century Scandinavian wallpaper. Large, airy blossoms of Queen Anne’s lace float like fluffy fireworks on a light gray ground. The larger blooms are composed of hundreds of tiny white flowers supported by a framework of dark gray stems. As in nature, a single bright red flower marks the...
1956-5-4
I Slån, Slån you?
Gerd Göran’s Slån wallpaper design shows pale blue dots arranged in rows within an irregular, light-gray net on white ground. The pattern is at first reminiscent of bubble wrap, or maybe even caviar, if you’re feeling fancy. Swedish speakers, however, might realize that the name of the paper hints at the designer’s inspiration. Slån (sloe,...
1968-111-10
The Fox and the Crow
The fables attributed to the ancient Greek slave, Aesop, have remained relevant for thousands of years and been depicted by countless generations. Here we see an old favorite, “The Fox and the Crow,” retold through the magic of wallpaper. This paper was made in France, c. 1840, and the design is block-printed on white satin...
48381_4b9ac6dec70f6909_b[1]
In Line
In Line, a wallpaper designed by prolific illustrator Ilonka Karasz, appears here as pages from a 1948 sample book, which originally contained the work of forty leading contemporary designers. Square blocks, each composed of a creatively arranged, continuous zigzag line, are stacked up like Tetris tiles on a dark-eggplant colored ground. The blocks are rendered...
89957_d15f85479e535a57_b[1]
Watercolor Wallpaper
Many of the wallcoverings in the Cooper Hewitt’s collection were created by designers better known for their work in the fine arts. This sidewall, c. 1927, was designed by Charles Burchfield, a much-loved American watercolorist. A mint-green trellis embellished with cross-hatching divides the panel into regular diamond-shaped cells. Each cell contains a stencil-like image of...