Author: Gregory Herringshaw

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Picture of a Poster of Meatballs
That’s a Spicy Meatball!
I always get a kick out of this wallpaper with its humor, its play on traditional design, and its spunk. Who would have thought the lowly meatball could be elevated to star status on a wallpaper? It’s unexpected to find a meatball slapped on a wall, outside of a food fight, and rather a new...
Making History: Clayton’s Ascent
Many of you have probably read my earlier blogs on bandboxes so I won’t elaborate on their purpose. They were originally designed to store and transport men’s removable collar bands, hence the name, but they were also used for hats and as general carry-all’s. Many boxes in the 1830s and 40s commemorated historic events of...
Catching the Drift
At first glance this wallpaper may appear to be a fragment but it is exactly one repeat of the pattern. Designed by Edward Bawden in 1927, Seaweed is a casual, very relaxed design. You can just imagine the different strands of seaweed gently swaying in the water’s current. Bawden was a watercolorist, book illustrator, mural...
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...