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Sidewall (France)

This is a sidewall. It is dated 1860–1870 and we acquired it in 1947. Its medium is machine-printed paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

The framework of this wallpaper captures a format of “postcard” views popularized during the second half of the 19th century. This format was available in a wide variety of block or tile styles, from rustic to more sophisticated, with each paper usually containing 3-6 different scenes, with adjoining tiles always having different views. As most if not all of these block-format papers were machine-printed the pattern repeats were quite small, usually 18 inches, so the maximum number of different scenes was limited.

This paper contains scenes of cowboys shown in a variety of frontier past-times. The machine-printing causes color bleed throughout which is more apparent in the landscape scenes, which softens the images creating a nice contrast to the strict confines of the coffer-like framework which is printed in a strong 3-dimensional appearance. The landscape views appear more to be pictures or illustrations as viewed in a picture frame, as opposed to viewing a landscape through an open window.

It is credited Gift of Eleanor Mitchell.

  • Decorative Panel (France)
  • block printed and hand painted on a combed background.
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.
  • 1931-45-61
  • Decorative Panel (France)
  • block-printed and hand painted on a combed background.
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.
  • 1931-45-62

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

Its dimensions are

62 x 57 cm (24 7/16 x 22 7/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall (France); machine-printed paper; 62 x 57 cm (24 7/16 x 22 7/16 in.); Gift of Eleanor Mitchell; 1947-52-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Rooms with a View: Landscape & Wallpaper.

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= |title=Sidewall (France) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>