2021 AGM report

Members from across the world joined together for the WHS AGM in December, which for the first time took place on Zoom. Although we missed seeing each other and sharing food at the Art Workers’ Guild in London, our normal venue, meeting online allowed many more members to attend.

In his Chairman’s report, outgoing Chairman Andrew Bush shared the good news of an increase in membership numbers and paid tribute to our new Chairman Rowena Beighton Dykes for her fantastic work on Instagram which has spread the word about the Society and enthused many more people about wallpaper. We now have over 7000 followers! Enormous thanks go to Andrew for his leadership over the last few years. 

Phillippa Mapes remains our ebullient and efficient Secretary while Pauline Birdsall has stepped up to take on both Treasurer and Membership Secretary roles, all whilst assisting with the build of our new website along with Phillippa and new committee member Lucy Ellis. Zoe Hendon from MoDA has also joined the committee and we say goodbye and thanks to Stephen Levrant and Christine Woods for many years of shaping and inspiring the Society and its defining publication, the Review. Wendy Andrews and Matthew Meadows remain on the committee.

Highlights from this challenging last year have included a fascinating talk by Rowena on 19th-century parsonage wallpapers and a virtual tour of Jane Austen’s house by Director Lizzie Dunford. Our Merryl Huxtable Bursary has been supporting wallpaper research at the Auchindrain Open Air Museum in the Scotland Highlands and it’s exciting to report that we have funding for our indexing project. This means that future readers and researchers will be able to access past articles from our Review more readily. Meanwhile next year’s Review is in preparation!

Members were given a brief tour round the new WHS website, which everyone agreed offers an exciting and adaptable new platform for the Society. We’re proud of our sharp and clever new logo designed by James Bush which gives a fresh new look to the Society’s branding.

Lucy Ellis