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Wallpaper in vernacular Irish houses: transience and memory


A talk by David Skinner


WHS is delighted to announce that there will be another online talk on Thursday October 26th 2023 at 1900 BST.


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. How can we best record, preserve and interpret the individual and collective memories of how these simple and often unremarkable buildings were used?


Drawing on examples from within and outside Ireland, this talk examines ways in which wallpaper contributes to our sense of history and place, and discusses the relevance and value of wallpaper archives.


David Skinner is a wallpaper maker, researcher, and conservator, living in County Leitrim, Ireland. Much of his career has been dedicated to bringing to life the history and patterns of the once-forgotten Irish wallpaper trade, uncovering the story of the Irish ‘paper-stainers’, and reviving their work for a modern audience.



David is the author of ‘Wallpaper in Ireland, 1700-1900’, a richly illustrated study of wallpaper making and its use in Ireland, published in 2014 by Churchill House Press. David recently led the very successful WHS trip to Ireland.


Tickets £6 WHS members / £8 non-members. Please go to the Eventbrite link to book.


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