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The Merryl Huxtable Bursary

The Wallpaper History Society offers a bursary of up to £1,000 each year to support historical and cultural research and/or developments in the conservation of wallcoverings. The bursary prize is offered in memory of Merryl Huxtable, a founder member of the WHS and pioneer in the field of wallpaper conservation.

Applications are now open for the Merryl Huxtable Bursary 2024. The deadline for applicants is 31stMarch 2024. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by the end of April 2024. We look forward to hearing from you.

​Applications are welcomed from full- or part-time graduate students studying the history, conservation or development of wallcoverings at a college or university in the United Kingdom at postgraduate level. Researchers based in the UK who have a proven record of publication in this or a related field are also eligible. Funds may also be allocated to support new researchers who may not have evidence of previous published work, but who are able to demonstrate commitment to undertake a relevant project or research.

The WHS is committed to supporting research projects which contribute to knowledge in the field. For this reason, the bursary is awarded only for original research based largely on primary sources and/or practical conservation work.

​Information for Applicants

​​Successful applicants will be expected to provide an interim report at the halfway point (usually after the first six months), and at the end of the year they will be required to produce evidence of their work, typically in the form of an illustrated essay of 3000-4,000 words to be published in the Society’s journal, The Wallpaper History Review. Alternatively, the WHS may consider a record of the work in alternative form(s) provided in an openly accessible format, such as (but not exclusively) recorded interviews; a database of findings; films of conservation or research processes etc. The WHS will hold and share such outcomes as a resource, including through the Society’s website, and the award recipient will be expected to produce an accompanying short report (rather than a 3,000 - 4,000 word essay) outlining the outcomes of the project, to be published in the WHS Review.

What happens once an application is received?

We will acknowledge receipt of all applications.
All applications are examined by the Society’s Bursary Committee and by specialist external assessor(s). The panel reserves the right to request more detailed information should this be required.
Once the successful applicant has been confirmed, the first tranche of the bursary is awarded.

The final payment of the bursary will be made on receipt of the essay or agreed alternative submission in a timeframe to suit the deadline for publication of the WHS journal The Review, or as agreed with the awarding panel.

The decision of the panel is final and the successful applicant will be notified in April of the award year.

How to apply

For more information and an application form contact

​Previous Prize winners have included:

2023 Justyna Medon (joint winner) – research and conservation of wallpapers at Penllyn Castle, South Wales 

2023 Amy Junker Heslip (joint winner) – embellishments made to late 18th- and early 19th-century Chinese export papers at Brighton Pavilion

2019 Lucy Ellis  -  The Wallpaper Magazine in the 1920s and '30s (MA History of Design and Material Culture, University of Brighton)

2018 Dr Clare Taylor - assistance with photographic costs for her 2018 publication The Design, Production and Reception of Eighteenth-Century Wallpaper in Britain

2015 Dr Phillippa Mapes -PhD ‘The English Wallpaper Trade in the Long Eighteenth Century’ (Leicester University)

Matthew Meadows - research project 'Artists Making Wallpaper' looking at the crossover between contemporary artists' wallpapers and the work of artisan printer-designers.

The 2023 bursary has been divided between two recipients, each researching very different areas of wallpapers

For information about previous bursary recipients use the links below
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