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Object Timeline

1977

  • We acquired this object.

1998

2007

2008

2015

2016

2021

  • You found it!

Sidewall, Pilgrim's Progress

This is a Sidewall. It is dated 1870–80 and we acquired it in 1977. Its medium is intaglio printed on machine-made paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the earliest washable wallpapers and would have been considered appropriate for a children’s nursery. Manufacturers continued printing with the intaglio technique until about 1934 when the first scrubbable papers as we know them today were developed. Based on the seventeenth century story by John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress is a religious allegory illustrating the journey of Christian as he travels from this world to the next.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Pilgrim's Progress, the wallpaper.

This object was donated by Dr. James P. Johnson. It is credited Gift of Dr. James P. Johnson.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (a): 234 x 56 cm (7 ft. 8 1/8 in. x 22 1/16 in.) Repeat H: 45.1 x 53 cm (17 3/4 x 20 7/8 in.) H x W x D (b): 87.3 x 56 cm (34 3/8 x 22 1/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall, Pilgrim's Progress; England; intaglio printed on machine-made paper; H x W x D (a): 234 x 56 cm (7 ft. 8 1/8 in. x 22 1/16 in.) Repeat H: 45.1 x 53 cm (17 3/4 x 20 7/8 in.) H x W x D (b): 87.3 x 56 cm (34 3/8 x 22 1/16 in.); Gift of Dr. James P. Johnson; 1977-42-1-a,b

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Wall Stories: Children's Wallpapers and Books.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18492663/ |title=Sidewall, Pilgrim's Progress |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=5 December 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>