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Object Timeline

2008

  • We acquired this object.

  • Work on this object began.

2009

2019

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Sidewall, White Room with Text, 2008

This is a Sidewall. It was designed by Tracy Kendall. It is dated 2008 and we acquired it in 2008. Its medium is cut paper squares with printed text, sewn onto paper backing. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

White Room with Text takes Tracy Kendall’s signature cut and sewn construction one step further with the addition of text. The text, from Shakespeare, is printed in black in a variety of bold fonts. The changing scale and weight of the type creates a false perspective that wreaks havoc with the true relief of the curled paper. The play of these two elements creates a visually stimulating design.
Kendall began her wallpaper career in 1996, screen printing large-scale designs of feathers, plants, and cutlery. These panels could be used alone or in groups, and stood over seven feet tall. Her bespoke line of three-dimensional wallcoverings followed and includes this design as well as papers with sequins, jigsaw puzzle pieces, buttons, and fringe. Kendall’s bespoke wallpapers are almost all light in color, which allows for the most dramatic play of light and shadow. All of her panels are custom-sized for individual interiors—this panel length of 10 feet is about average. In the White Room is one of her most popular designs.
Kendall studied Fine Art Printmaking in Manchester and works out of her studio in London. She has shown her work at many design fairs including the ICFF, the Milan Furniture Fair, 100% Design, and the Chelsea Craft Fair. Her work has received much publicity in a wide variety of publications including Interior Design, Metropolis, Elle Decor, Marie Claire UK, Vogue Living Australia, Israeli Press, Craft, and Casa Abitare.
White Room with Text is related to another wallpaper by Kendall in the museum’s collection, In the White Room. Acquiring White Room with Text would allow us to show the development of Kendall’s creative style while also building our collection of contemporary papers. This piece also overlaps thematically with other curatorial departments that hold objects for which type is used as ornament.

This object was donated by Tracy Kendall. It is credited Gift of Tracy Kendall.

Its dimensions are

L x W: 302.3 x 50.8 cm (9 ft. 11 in. x 20 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall, White Room with Text, 2008; Designed by Tracy Kendall (British, n.d.); England; cut paper squares with printed text, sewn onto paper backing; L x W: 302.3 x 50.8 cm (9 ft. 11 in. x 20 in.); Gift of Tracy Kendall; 2008-11-2

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18716209/ |title=Sidewall, White Room with Text, 2008 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=14 November 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>