wallpaper

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Image shows an Egyptian-inspired wallpaper design with four male figures printed against a background of hieroglyph-like symbols. Please scroll down for further information on this piece.
Egyptomania
When I’m scrolling through wallpaper images I frequently stop and wonder what movement or inspiration let to the fruition of that design. When I saw this Egyptian-style paper that the museum acquired in 1938 I couldn’t think of any events occurring at that time that may have inspired this. When I looked a little closer...
Image shows a children's wallpaper with exotic foliage and animals rendered in a naive manner. Please scroll down for additional information on this wallpaper.
Lions, and Tigers, No Bears, Oh My!
This is a delightful wallpaper designed for children. The design is rendered in a very flat perspective and illustrated in a naïve manner, which seems reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books. A fun and whimsical paper that would allow children to create their own little safaris. The jungle scene contains images of lions, tigers,...
Image features a block-printed and flocked wallpaper imitating a textile. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Blocked and Flocked
During the 17th century, France and England, both major producers and exporters of wallpapers, were printing inexpensive decorative patterns on single sheets of paper. These were multi-use papers and were used for lining trunks and chests, as well as decorating walls. Outlines were printed by crude wood blocks and color was added by applying thin...
Image shows a narrow wallpaper border with green ivy and red berries. Please scroll down for further information on this object.
Fast and Easy Decorating
“Fast and easy” is how this collection of borders was marketed to the public. Designed especially for the do-it-yourself market, these narrow borders were packed in individual boxes, sold in twelve foot lengths, and all were pre-pasted. They just had to be dipped in water and stuck on the wall, though consumers were advised to...
Image features a wallpaper border with a rural scene of a small pond surrounded by flowers. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Tranquil Waters
Most wallpapers designed with a water theme were intended for use in bathrooms, though given the early date of this Art nouveau border with its pond and water lilies it was possibly intended to partner with a similarly-styled wallpaper in a bedroom. Most wallpapers for the bathroom designed before 1910 appeared more hygienic due to...
Image features front Cover of Morris wall-papers by Morris & Company. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object
William Morris Wall-Papers
I could wax poetic on the virtues and talents of William Morris (1834-1896), such as his renowned association with the British Arts and Crafts movement, his contribution to the revival of textiles, the way he established concepts of modern fantasy, and his socialist endeavors. Instead, let’s view this rare trade catalog published by the Morris & Company...
Image features an arabesque wallpaper design, formatted in two columns, each balanced along a central axis. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Delicately Defying Gravity
The period from 1780-1820 produced some beautiful neoclassical wallpapers, of which the arabesque designs are a prime example. These wallpapers were inspired by the excavations of the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum which began in 1758. This wallpaper, which has seen better days, is an excellent example. On an arabesque design all of the elements...
Image features a brightly colored wallpaper printed with flock. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Not Your Typical Wallflowers
Another floral design, but not “just another floral.” This wallpaper is truly a product of the late 1960s, printed in four deeply saturated colors of flock on a marbled Mylar foil ground. From a distance it takes on the appearance of clouds with their free-form, rather ambiguous shapes. But closer inspection reveals this is indeed...
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...