Historic Paperhanging Techniques: A Bibliographic Essay
- Robert M. Kelly (see profile)
- Culture--Study and teaching, United States, Decorative arts, History
- Item Type:
- American cultural studies
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- Wallpaper gained a foothold in the United States around 1750 yet the methods used to install it have seldom been recorded. Although the written record is incomplete, there are early English and French sources which describe paperhanging techniques. Through the emigration of craftsmen, these techniques were transplanted to other countries. Mid-19th century patents show the development of trimming tools and machines. Trade manuals and magazines began around 1875. These provide a window into the workaday world of the paperhanger, and such serial literature led eventually to large compilations about technique in the early 20th century. Books about wallpaper, though largely situated in an art history context, also contain helpful information. The essay examines the secondary sources, research in archives, and surviving installations to construct a timeline for historic technique. Four chronological divisions are made which are characterized by typical tools and techniques: Early (1750-1860); Middle (1860-1900); Late (1900-1940); and Modern (1940-1975). The second half of the essay contains a bibliography of over 55 books, articles, and archival sources about wallpaper and paperhanging.
- Presented at the International Preservation Trades Workshop, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Aug. 2-6, 2011.
- Last Updated:
- 4 years ago
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