News and events
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WHS members are invited to join us for a tour of the studio and showroom of Marthe Armitage, now managed by her daughter, Jo Broadhurst.
Marthe Armitage is a renowned British wallpaper designer whose work is characterised by unique hand-drawn designs that are hand printed from lino blocks. Her daughter Jo Broadhurst now runs the studio where they design textiles as well as wallpapers.
Members have already received notice of this event but can also obtain information from firstname.lastname@example.org
The Art Workers’ Guild in Bloomsbury, central London, was founded in 1884 by young architects and designers who ‘wanted to create a meeting place for the fine arts and the applied arts on an equal footing’. What better place than to play host to the Wallpaper History Society AGM and annual lecture. Read more...
On 25th September 2023, Temple Newsam in Leeds, West Yorkshire, opened its doors to country house owners, curators, and enthusiasts for a special study day dedicated to Chinese wallpaper. Organised by Historic Houses, the event focused on understanding these beautiful wallcoverings within the broader style phenomenon of chinoiserie - the European interpretation of East Asian art and design. Read more...
Members of WHS arrived at Insole Court on September 16th in pouring rain, but a team of enthusiastic volunteers was ready to warm us up with coffee and biscuits. The house sits in the wealthy suburb of Llandaff in South Wales, and enjoys beautifully restored gardens, now open to the public, and a view over Cardiff Bay. Read more...
A talk by David Skinner.
Houses have both a history and a memory. Their memory is imprinted on interior surfaces and objects and sustained through oral history. Ireland's heritage of vernacular rural houses is threatened both by neglect and the needs of twenty-first century living. Find out more and book here
Embossed wallpapers such as Lincrusta have been popular since the late nineteenth century, and they continue to sell well today. Lincrusta was popular with Victorians for its durability and hygienic qualities, and could be made to imitate other materials such as plaster, wood and leather.
We have an exciting new product in the WHS online shop – the WHS Index! This 69-page download is largely the work of volunteers who have painstakingly compiled an index of all articles in the WHS Review from 1989 to 2020. It’s an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to track down a specific article for research or enjoyment. No more leafing through Review after Review – now you can get straight to the one you want for just £5. See the WHS shop for details.
Join us for a special visit to Insole Court in Cardiff, a Grade II* listed mansion house, with a special series of wallpaper-related events between 10am and 12. This will include an illustrated talk by one of Insole Court’s researchers about the wallpapers found in the house, including new findings and interpretation progressed subsequent to the analysis of Cowtan Order Books by Dr Wendy Andrews. Find out more and book here...
Applications are now open for the Merryl Huxtable Prize 2024. This bursary, offered by the Wallpaper History Society, supports historical 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. The deadline for applications has been extended to August 31st 2023
Please see our Bursary page for more details and to learn about previous recipients of the award.
Eighteen members of WHS descended by bus, coach, car and train on Kilkenny on May 19th to enjoy a tour of some of Ireland’s finest houses and original wallpapers, expertly guided by wallpaper historian and maker David Skinner. This trip, postponed from 2020 by the pandemic, attracted members from as far away as the Netherlands and Boston, USA. Find out more...
In this talk, Bo will transport us back to the year 1907 for a look at the experience of shopping for wallpaper during the Arts & Crafts era in America. From wallpaper's design, production and distribution through how the latest style trends were served up and sold, this journey will be a visual feast for anyone with a hunger for the delights of wallpaper history. Find out more...
We’re excited to introduce a new gallery onto our website. The wallpaper trademark gallery showcases makers’ marks and stamps from the 19th century onwards. These fascinating stamps are not only a useful resource for anybody researching wallpaper and its manufacture, but may help people with old rolls of paper at home who’d like to try and identify their origins. We’d like to add more to the gallery so please do submit them via our Instagram. Visit our gallery
Through 2022 Open House has gradually unfolded through an exhibition; a volunteer project to photograph 5000 of the Whitworth's everyday wallpapers; an extensive programme of public events; and a call out gathering your photos and stories about life lived against the backdrop of wallpaper, which have been displayed in the exhibition and will be collated in a book. Read more...
Open House is a project that connects life lived in front of the wallpaper with the 10,000 wall coverings looked after at the Whitworth.
Wallpapers began arriving at the Whitworth in 1967 and today we house a collection of around 10,000 examples. Some of these are luxurious, beautiful, old and hand-printed, but most are the cheap and cheerful output of factories that gave remnants to museums after ceasing production. Read more...
Since the National Trust opened the house to the public in the 1990s, its priority has been to make the space welcoming and attractive for visitors, and to connect its activities to the local population in Hackney. It’s not surprising then, that wallpaper conservation was low on the agenda for many years. But a recent project lead by Nicola Walker and Phillippa Mapes to uncover and conserve wallpapers in one specific room has revealed new stories about the building and how it was used in different ways over time. Read more...
We are delighted to welcome Catherine Sidwell as our speaker at this year's Wallpaper History Society AGM. Catherine's talk will focus on C.F.A. Voysey’s frequent depiction of birds in his wallpaper designs and why he chose to do so. Find out more...
The Wallpaper History Society Review 2022 on its way to you
Copies of the new 2022 Wallpaper History Review have just been posted to all members. The publication is free of charge to all members of the Society, and back issues of previous editions are available to buy in our online shop. If you have not received your copy by 5th August 2022, please let us know. International postage may take longer, but we think it's worth the wait.
Althea McNish: 'Colour is Mine' at the William Morris Gallery
The William Morris Gallery displays the life and work of the radical Victorian designer, craftsman and campaigner, William Morris, and explores his continuing relevance today. Read more...
It is with great sadness that the Wallpaper History Society shares the news that founder member Christine Woods has died.
Christine was a friend to many of us, encouraging our interest in all things wallpaper, whilst setting the highest standards in research and reporting discoveries. We will miss her, but know that the work she championed continues, and memories of her sense of humour will still raise a smile
Flora Roberts online talk June 23rd, 2022
Wallpaper designer Flora Roberts shares details of her inspiration and the printing techniques she uses to create her beautiful papers. Wallpaper designer Flora Roberts has worked for Lewis & Wood, Sandersons, Zoffany, GP & J Baker and Mulberry Home. She recently launched her own collection of wallpapers exclusively available at Hamilton Weston Ltd. In this talk Flora will talk about how she uses hand painting techniques to create floral designs inspired by historic houses and gardens. She will discuss her use of contemporary printing techniques which can either make the printed wallpaper look similar to the original artwork or take it in a new direction. Find out more and book
A visit to ‘The Art of Wallpaper - Morris & Co’ at Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh
This exhibition, curated by Mary Schoeser and supported by ample material from the Sanderson Design Group Archive, looks at the history and development of the Morris & Co brand. It includes works by artists who designed for Morris & Co, but who are frequently less well-acknowledged. Read more...
Wallpaper collector Frank Cassata opens up his fabulous collection to WHS
Former architect and interior designer Frank Cassata fell in love with vintage textiles early on in his career and was soon seeking out swatch books from across the globe...Read more
The Art of Wallpaper, Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh 28th January - 11th June 2022
The popularity of William Morris endures to this day with so many homes still displaying his vibrant wallpapers replete with English flora and bird life fashioned into stylised patterns reflective of the principles of honest design that drove the Arts and Crafts movement. Now a new exhibition explores the work of the man ... Read more
Clare Taylor's 2021 AGM presentation
'The Flock Trail: Two Hundred Years of Colour, Pattern and Texture'
Following the AGM there was an opportunity to hear Clare Taylor deliver a talk on ‘The Flock Trail: Two Hundred Years of Colour, Pattern and Texture’. Clare’s expertise in this area is well known and the audience was fascinated to learn about the origins, making and hanging of flock paper.... Read more
2021 AGM takes place on Zoom
Members from across the world joined together for the WHS AGM on 10th December 2021, 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.... Read more
Exclusive Member-only virtual tour of Jane Austen's House
Our online event, 'Jane Austen's House' provided a tailored tour of the house and a fascinating insight into the home life of the author, as well as a lively discussion on the wallpapers found. Read more...
'Tales From the Parsonage: Wallpaper and Vicarage Life 1790-1850'
Society Members enjoyed a fascinating and entertaining online presentation by Rowena Beighton-Dykes as she shared some of her research into the buying habits and decorative choices of the clergy
Instagram account reaches over 5000 followers
The Society's Instagram account, run by Rowena Beighton-Dykes, posts regularly and now has more than 5000 followers. If you're missing out, find us on @wallpaperhistsoc