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Object Timeline

1903

  • Work on this object began.

1904

  • Work on this object ended.

1971

  • We acquired this object.

2012

2021

  • You found it!

Sidewall (USA), 1903–1904

This is a Sidewall. It was manufactured by M.H. Birge & Sons Co.. It is dated 1903–1904 and we acquired it in 1971. Its medium is machine-printed paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

This is a matching set of sidewall and frieze. Starting in 1900 it was very common to purchase wallpaper in matching sets which contained a sidewall, frieze and ceiling paper. It simplified the decision-making process for the consumer, who then only had to select a color and style. There were still a lot of decorating conventions at this time, and it was recommended that certain papers be used in certain rooms. Landscape friezes were usually recommended for dining rooms, halls and libraries, and the more casual nature of this design would probably relegate it to a breakfast room, which would make every meal feel like a picnic.

This object was donated by Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is credited Gift of Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

  • Wellspring Carafe, ca. 1847
  • enameled and gilt glass.
  • Museum purchase from Decorative Arts Association Acquisitions Fund in memory....
  • 1993-78-1

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (a) sidewall): 97 × 55.9 cm (38 3/16 in. × 22 in.) L x W (b) frieze): 53 × 55.9 cm (20 7/8 in. × 22 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed in left selvedge of sidewall: M.H. Birge & Sons, Co.; U.S.A. 3194; printed in left selvedge of frieze: M.H. Birge & Sons, Co. USA 194.

Cite this object as

Sidewall (USA), 1903–1904; Manufactured by M.H. Birge & Sons Co. (United States); machine-printed paper; H x W x D (a) sidewall): 97 × 55.9 cm (38 3/16 in. × 22 in.) L x W (b) frieze): 53 × 55.9 cm (20 7/8 in. × 22 in.); Gift of Philadelphia Museum of Art; 1971-58-8-a,b

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18475299/ |title=Sidewall (USA), 1903–1904 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=19 September 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>