wallpaper

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German Chicks
This adorable wallpaper was meant for a child’s room, and came to the museum within a collection of samples by German manufacturer Marburger Tapetenfabrik. In creating this pattern the designer successfully manipulated a faddish aesthetic into something that remains pleasing and relevant well beyond its manufacture date. Little birds are represented by blocks of color...
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Flitter Frieze
Robert Graves Co. was founded by a Brooklyn-based Irish immigrant, and was one of the most successful wallpaper manufacturies in the United States from the 1860s to the 1920s. This wallpaper frieze was made by the company c. 1905-1915, and would likely have been marketed with a coordinating sidewall and ceiling paper. It features a...
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A Revival Revived
This sidewall was donated to the Cooper Hewitt by D. Lorraine Yerkes in 1941, along with several dozen other antique and contemporary wallpapers from her collection. Ms. Yerkes was an independent decorator, and founding member of the American Institute of Decorators, which still exists today as the American Society of Interior Designers. She ran her...
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Are We having Fun Yet?
This wallpaper sample comes from a book put out by Imperial Wallcoverings in 1948. It would have been used in a family room or den—spaces that were relatively new concepts at the time. For many young men and women settling down in post-war America, a casual home life that revolved around leisure time with the...
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Your Own Little Sunrise
I have noticed a trend over the past few years for ombré wallpapers, papers that have subtle color shifts or blends from one color to another. This creates quite a beautiful effect and can introduce multiple colors in a room without weighing down the design with a heavy pattern. Not that I have anything against...
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Color, Mood and Rhythm
In the mid-twentieth century, German wallpaper company Rasch marketed wallpapers designed by noted contemporary artists to the American public. The product line was called the “International Artists Collection,” and appealed to consumers who wanted their homes and offices to reflect cutting edge of contemporary art. Explaining the creative motivation behind this partnership of artist and...
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Decorative Deception
Traditionally, wallpapers have imitated more expensive materials, such as architectural details, painted wall decorations, wood grains, marble, and, most often, textiles. In the mid-18th century when wallpapered rooms became a prevailing fashion in England and France, wallpaper borders were as important a decorative element as the coverings themselves. A brilliant swag of printed paper flowers,...
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An Abstract by Kupferoth
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Cooper Hewitt is dedicating select Object of the Day entries to the work of women designers in our collection. This sidewall was designed by Elsbeth Kupferoth, one of the most prolific pattern designers of post-war Germany. Kupferoth got her start as a student at the Berlin Textile und Modeschüle....
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Old Masters
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Cooper Hewitt is dedicating select Object of the Day entries to the work of women designers in our collection. This sidewall was designed by Marion Dorn Kauffer who is perhaps best remembered for the inspired batik textiles, rugs and interiors she created during the interwar years. Born in San...