Friday, 12 February 2016

Introduction to Wallpapers Studies

Wallpapers studies, a neologism, have been developing for the last twenty years, more and more scholars are now interested in wallpapers, an enthusiasm shared in all decorative arts. 

Wallpapers studies gather several aspects, you can be interested in the technical side, with the history of paper and history of techniques along with the history of industry. Another aspect is the history of taste, and how and why people chose a type of wallpapers to cover their homes. Historian of economy and trade are also involved with their knowledge of the trade industry and its development. Art historian are heavily involved in these research, looking for motifs or stories of artists and designers who worked for manufacturer.  

This article aims to be a first step towards discovering the fascinating world of wallpapers, compiling books and references to browse and enjoy. This is not an exhaustive list and revolves primarily around 19th century European wallpapers. It is also recommended to look at the bibliography given by the Wallpaper History Society. 

Bibliography: 


A Decorative Art : 19th Century Wallpapers, exhibition catalogue, Manchester, Manchester University Press/Whitworth Gallery, 1985.

BENHAM Joanna, Papiers Peints, Paris, CELIV, 1990. 

Bibliothèque Forney, Papiers peints 1800-1875, Paris, Société des Amis de la Bibliothèque Forney, 1980.

CERMAN Jérémie, Le Papier Peint Art Nouveau, Création, Production, Diffusion, Paris, Editions Mare & Martin, 2012.
ENTWISLE E.A., The Book of Wallpaper A History and An Appreciation, London, Arthur Barker, 1954.

ENTWISLE Eric A., A Literary History of Wallpaper, London, B.T. Batsford LTD, 1960. 

GREYSMITH Brenda, Wallpaper, London, Studio Vista, 1976. 

Historic Wallpapers in the Whitworth Art Gallery, exhibition catalogue., Manchester, The Whitworth Art Gallery 1972, Manchester, University of Manchester, 1972.

HOSKINS Lesley (dir.), The Papered Wall. The History Patterns and Techniques of Wallpapers, New and Expanded Edition, London, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2005. 

JACQUE Bernard, NOUVEL-KAMMERER Odile, Le Papier-Peint: Un Décor d'Illusion, Paris, Editions Jean-Pierre Gyss, 1987.

Le Bon Motif. Papiers peints et tissus. Les trésors de la bibliothèque Forney, exhibition catalogue., 21 septembre – 31 décembre 2004, Paris, Paris Bibliothèques, 2004.

LYNN Catherine, Wallpaper in America, From the Seventeenth Century to World War I, New York, Cooper-Hewitt Museum Book, 1980.

OLIVER HAPGOOD Marilyn, Papiers peints d'artistes de Dürer à Warhol, Paris, Editions Abbeville, 1992.

OMAN C.C., Catalogue of Wall-papers, London, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1929. 

SAUNDERS Gill, Wallpaper in Interior Decoration, New York, Watson-Guptill Publications, 2002.

SUDGEN A.V., EDMONDSON E.A., A History of English Wallpapers 1509-1914, London, 1926. 

TEYNAC Françoise (dir.), Le Monde du Papier Peint, Berger-Levrault, Paris, 1981. 

VELUT Christine, Décors de Papier : Production, Commerce et Usages des Papiers Peints à Paris, 1750-1820, Paris, Monument, Edition du Patrimoine, 2001.


Museums: 

V&A (London) 


Whitworth Gallery (Manchester)

Musée du Papier-Peint (Rixheim) 

Website: 



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