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Object Timeline

1925

  • Work on this object began.

1935

  • Work on this object ended.

2006

2007

  • We acquired this object.

  • We exhibited this object.

2013

2020

  • You found it!

Sidewall (France), ca. 1930

This is a Sidewall. It is dated ca. 1930 and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is block-printed and machine printed on paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

This French art deco paper is boldly designed, brightly colored, and representative of the period.
The ground color is a very dense opaque pigment and is the first color applied, covering the paper from selvedge to selvedge. Applying the ground color is a separate process from printing the design colors and requires a separate printing machine. When the design is printed, all of the colors are printed in one pass through the printing press. The ground color serves the important function of giving the paper a uniform color. As the paper ages and oxidizes, the ground hides the fact that the once white paper is turning brown; this greatly extends the life of the wallpaper. Ground color became especially important after the introduction of wood pulp papers in the 1850s. Papers with ground color were printed on a slightly heavier paper stock and would have been more expensive to produce.
This paper is part of a larger group of rolls of papers under consideration for acquisition that would be a wonderful addition to the collection in both style and size. In 2001, we acquired a group of French art deco wallpaper sample book pages (ca. 1930) produced by the Isidore Leroy Company. Good examples of art deco papers are an area of top collection priority.

It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Its dimensions are

Overall: 419 x 50 cm (13 ft. 8 15/16 in. x 19 11/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall (France), ca. 1930; block-printed and machine printed on paper; Overall: 419 x 50 cm (13 ft. 8 15/16 in. x 19 11/16 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2007-1-10

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18706599/ |title=Sidewall (France), ca. 1930 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 March 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>