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Sidewall (France), 1789

This is a Sidewall. It is dated 1789. Its medium is block printed on handmade paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

This arabesque design was the first wallpaper acquired by the museum at Cooper Union. This was produced by the Réveillon factory, one of the premier wallpaper manufacturers in Paris known for their sophisticated designs and high quality standards. Arabesque wallpapers were composed of a variety of classical motifs including draped female figures, tripod urns, floral and pearl festoons, and scrolling foliage arranged symmetrically in vertical bands. These designs were inspired by the excavations at the recently discovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Réveillon’s arabesques consisted of three types: large panels of a single arabesque design, narrow arabesques used to frame the larger panels, and repeating arabesque patterns printed in either a single or double-column format, as seen here.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled How It All Began: The First Wallpaper Acquired by Cooper Union.

It is credited Gift of Mrs. Charles S. Fairchild.

  • Object ID #18319405
  • block-printed on handmade paper.
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.
  • 1931-45-76
  • Object ID #18397531
  • block-printed on handmade paper.
  • Gift of John Judkyn in memory of his mother, Florence Judkins.
  • 1953-213-1-a,b
  • Object ID #18804993
  • block printed, hand painted and gilded on handmade paper.
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.
  • 1985-26-1

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Its dimensions are

H x W: 107 x 52.5 cm (42 1/8 x 20 11/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall (France), 1789; block printed on handmade paper; H x W: 107 x 52.5 cm (42 1/8 x 20 11/16 in.); Gift of Mrs. Charles S. Fairchild; 1900-5-3

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Sidewall (France), 1789 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 January 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>