M.H. Birge & Sons

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Image features a wallpaper ceiling border containing a water mill and cat tails. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Looking Up to Landscapes
If you’ve ever thought it might be nice to be a fly on the wall, think about the fun you could have with a bird’s eye view from the ceiling. You could be part of the beautiful ceiling decoration that was so fashionable during the Gilded Age. Today’s wallpaper would have been part of that...
Image features wallpaper with a dense floral pattern with stylized flowers and strong vertical stems. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Burchfield’s Queen Anne’s Lace
This is a wallpaper by American watercolorist Charles Burchfield. It is quite a beautiful design with its mix of soft rounded forms and strong verticals, but seems to be one of his lesser known papers as I don’t see it getting published like two of his other designs, The Birches and Modernistic. It is a rather...
Cool Weather Calm
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season coming to an end, and the end of the year upon us, it is always nice to have a moment of reflection and calm before jumping into the New Year. This wallpaper, aptly entitled “The Birches”, seems to echo such a sentiment with its cool color...
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,...
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...
Buffalo Rose
Jungle-green, blooming roses are outlined against a jet-black background in this mid twentieth century machine printed wallpaper. The sharp, sure linear style of the images is reminiscent of old wood-cut prints, while the colorway brings to mind the kitschy black velvet paintings that frequently turn up in junk shops and dive bars. Thoughts of amateur...