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DateLecture
28 May 2020A Decorative Art: the history of wallpapers.
25 June 2020Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside.
30 July 2020The History of the Royal Parks
24 September 2020The Life and Times of a Silver Teapot
29 October 2020AGM, followed by a short drama performance: "Mrs Shaw herself"
26 November 2020The Genius of Raphael
17 December 2020Santa Claus: the art that turns him from St Nicholas into Father Christmas.

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A Decorative Art: the history of wallpapers. Joanna Banham Thursday 28 May 2020

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A Decorative Art the History of Wallpapers

Wallpaper is often regarded as the Cinderella of the Decorative Arts – the most ephemeral and least precious of the decorations produced for the home. Yet, the history of wallpaper is a long and fascinating subject that dates back to the 16th century and encompasses a huge range of beautiful patterns created both by anonymous hands and by some of the best-known designers of the 19th and 20th centuries. This lecture explores the history and development of this product from earliest times up to the present day. It includes a discussion of the changing ways in which wallpaper was made and a survey of designs from the first black and white patterns, the creation of elegant flock hangings, the fashion for Chinese hand-painted papers, the introduction of machine-printing, the designs of Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the taste for Modernist and Contemporary designs in the 20thcentury. It also includes a discussion of the ways that wallpapers were used within grand and more ordinary homes and hopes to justify the claim that they were indeed a truly Decorative Art.

DETAILS

Jo Banham is a freelance curator, lecturer and writer. From 2006-2016 she was Head of Adult Learning at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and before that Head of Learning and Access at the National Portrait Gallery, and Head of Public Programmes at Tate Britain. She has also been Curator of Leighton House and Assistant Keeper at the Whitworth Art Gallery. She has published on many aspects of Victorian and early 20th century decoration and interiors. She is currently curating an exhibition on William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement for the Juan March Fundacion in Madrid and the Museu Nacional d’Art Catalunya in Barcelona. She is also Director of the Victorian Society Summer School.