Author: Gregory Herringshaw

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A New Look for Leathered Walls
Imitation leather papers meticulously reproduce the grain, patterns, and coloring of antique leathers. While these wallpapers were expensive to produce due to all the handwork necessary to capture the embossed leathers, they were much less costly, and quicker to produce, than actual leathers. This sample was produced by M. H. Birge & Sons around 1910,...
Travel in Style Without Clashing
Innovations in transportation and mobility were to become a common theme in wallpaper design. Similar images frequently appeared on bandboxes and hat boxes starting in the 1830’s. A sign of mobility themselves, these boxes were used for the safe transport and storage of men’s removable collars and hats. Early designs include historic hot air balloon...
When a Tile is Not a Tile
This paper fascinates me, which explains why I acquired it for the museum collection. It is an inexpensive, Depression-era paper, but it packs a lot of punch. The design is reminiscent of ceramic tiles which makes it a less than formal pattern and gives it more of a functional aesthetic. While this certainly could be...
Bedazzled All Over Again
I acquired Bedazzled for the museum collection in 2004. I had seen an advertisement in a shelter magazine and wanted to visit the showroom to experience it and pick up a sample. When I walked into the showroom this wallcovering, in silver, was installed on a large curved wall and was totally breathtaking. It was...
Window Shade for the Well Dressed Parlor
I recently had the pleasure of photographing two rather large window shades that had never really been viewed before, due to their large size and fragile nature. These are part of a group of four shades, with each being contained in a rather simple but elegant wood cornice. The two shades that were photographed had...
Have You Seen this Matisse Mural?
During the years when America was involved in World War II there was a moratorium on new wallpaper designs as the materials used to make printing rollers and silk screens were all needed for the war effort. This forced manufacturers to continue printing the same designs for years. So when the moratorium ended manufacturers got...
It’s Just Chicken Feed
The 1950s were the last big hey-day for wallpaper usage. People still papered all four walls and complementary wallpapers were popular. This included a bolder pattern on one wall with a coordinating paper on the three adjoining walls. Another popular option was to paper two adjoining rooms with complementary papers. The fifties was also the...
A Surreal View of the Land
I have always been fond of landscape friezes and I sometimes wish I lived in a nice bungalow where I could actually use some of these different wall treatments to best effect. I’ve probably mentioned before that wide landscape friezes were popularized by Walter Crane when he introduced his May Tree frieze in 1896, and...
Looks Good Enough to Eat
Flexi Mother of Pearl is an environmentally responsible wallcovering made with a rapidly renewable natural material that offers an attractive alternative to other surfacing materials. While the name alludes to the natural luster of the mother of pearl material, the wallcovering is actually composed of capiz shells. Thin layers of shell are applied in narrow...