Wallpapers From the 19th Century to Today

Wallpapers From the 19th Century to Today

Jessica Tata
Sep 8, 2009

Wallpaper has made a strong resurgence in decor trends in the last few years, after having had a spell of being an unpopular treatment for modern homes. As wallpaper moves in and out of "what's hot" in the home, it is interesting to think of the idea that wallcoverings began with precious metals incorporated, and were only afforded by the wealthy. It is interesting to see how we've decorated our walls over time...

Yasmin Ali, at The Architects' Journal, has put together a slideshow of some of the examples of wallpaper across the centuries that can now be found at the Whitworth Art Gallery. The gallery at The University of Manchester has put together an exhibition, Putting on the Glitz, which explores the desire to aspire to such visible wealth and luxury that people began incorporating precious metals into their wallcoverings.

The Whitworth has selected amazing examples of wallcoverings dating back to the 18th century, and incorporating decorated leather, foils and metallic finishes, and jeweled patterns. Along with contemporary examples and new designs, this exhibition takes an interesting look at this home decor. If you can't make it to Manchester, take a look at some images on the Whitworth Gallery site and the article in the Architects' Journal.

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