The Aitken Treasure Trove

On a sunny Saturday morning in March a group of Wallpaper History Society members gathered at Cavendish Hall, Thurston in rural Suffolk. We were there at the kind invitation of Philip Aitken, architect, Historic Building Consultant – and wallpaper enthusiast. Phillip has a collection of over 700 wallpapers; the earliest made during the opening decades of the 18th century and… Continue reading

Wallpaper at the Whitworth Gallery, 29 January – 9 October 2016

Richard and Guy Busby, progressive directors of the Lightbown Aspinall branch of the Wallpaper Manufacturers Ltd (WPM) launched their collections of 100 architects’ papers in 1952. Then following on from the Festival of Britain the Busbys began commissioning another architects’ range – Palladio – to decorate the new public and commercial buildings being built as part of post-war redevelopment; architects… Continue reading

Three New Books!

The literature on wallpaper is comparatively small so the publication of new books is most welcome. We hope to included reviews of all three in the forthcoming Newsletter but here is advance information to whet your appetite:

  •  Bitten by Witch Fever: Wallpaper & Arsenic in the Victorian Homeby Lucinda Hawksley, Thames & Hudson /The National Archives, 2016, 256… Continue reading

Getting the decorators in: trade and practice c1850-1950

In 1922 William Travis, ‘Painter, Paper Hanger and Decorator’ of Ulverston, Lancashire carried out extensive decorating for local householder Mrs Bamber. ‘Stripping paper from walls in Dining room and of Front bed Room – washing off ceilings and Distempering same papering walls painting and Enameling, Graining woodwork varnishing Staircase ceilings Distem Walls, papering Dado with anaglypta paint Rail and Varnishing… Continue reading

Review – ‘Faire Le Mur – Quatre Siêcles de Papiers Peints

La Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France January 21st to June 12th, 2016.

The punning title of this exhibition puzzled me; faire le mur means to sneak out or go over the wall. But if its subtitle – 4 centuries of wallpaper – promised an international narrative of papiers peints, this proved misleading. The 300 wallpapers selected for display from… Continue reading