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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...
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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...
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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...
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Call for Adventurers
During the 1920s and 30s, child-rearing experts pointed out the negative effects of mass recreation, especially movies, to the growth of American children. They argued that as passive spectators, children would likely bring home images of glamour and a sense of the social power of consumer goods after attending movies since what they saw in...
Rudolf
A Real Art for Living
Wallpaper offers artists and designers an opportunity to translate their designs within a domestic environment. The Rudolf (ca. 2015) wallcovering manufactured by Élitis is the first lenticular print produced for the interior. Lenticular printing is the process of multiple pictures intertwined into one image that produces a three-dimensional effect and creates a new medium for...
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Exploring a Decorative Bandbox
Bandboxes, a decorative yet practical item of an earlier time, were originally used as receptacles for holding men’s neckbands in the early 17th century. Although they continued to hold that purpose heading into the 19th century, women would soon adapt them to carry their personal items and accessories. Between the years 1820 and 1845, the...
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Glasgow Geometry
Though this paper dates from the 1960s, it is a reprint of an original design by Charles Rennie Mackintosh created in 1916. It was made for W.J. Bassett-Lowke, founder of a manufacture of model trains and construction sets, for the lounge hall of his house Derngate in Northampton. Mackintosh was an architect and designer known...
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An Art Nouveau Freak
Floating trees with foliage like red clouds form the dominant motifs of this unusual, slightly psychedelic early twentieth-century sidewall. This excellent example of an Art Nouveau-style paper was made by Benton, Heath, & Co. of Hoboken, New Jersey. American wallpaper producers first started making papers in the Art Nouveau style in the mid-1890s, after examples...
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A Hundred Windows on Your Wall
This beautiful monochromatic wallpaper is an excellent example of mid-nineteenth century stylistic eclecticism. The window, surrounded by fan vaults and Gothic tracery, is a typical Gothic Revival image. However, the bunches of flowers and swirling acanthus leaves that frame the Gothic interior are Rococo Revival motifs, pointing to the enormous  influence of French culture on...