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Wallpaper

Wallpaper

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1852-1874 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jones, Owen, born 1809 - died 1874 (designer (surface design))
    Townsend, Parker & Co. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour print on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Catherine Jones, daughter of the artist

  • Museum number:

    8337:138

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case DW, shelf 101

Owen Jones (1809-1874) was a prolific designer of wallpapers. His designs drew heavily on his anthology of historic decorative motifs, published as The Grammar of Ornament (1856). However, unlike Pugin, Jones did not believe that one could simply reproduce past styles in a modern context. He believed that architecture and design should be of its time, but that it should look to the ornamental art of the past for inspiration. Though the forms he used were often naturalistic, he reduced them to flat forms in patterns based on his notion of ‘geometrical construction’. In his essay of 1852, ‘Colour in the Decorative Arts’ (published in George Shaw’s On the Manufacture of Glass), he wrote that ‘paper hangings should not call attention to themselves, but remain as a background for the paintings, engravings, and other art works’. Yet his wallpapers are characterised by strong colours in uncommon combinations, devised in accordance with his own colour theories.

Physical description

Specimen of wallpaper with a design of formalised foliage creating a diaper-work effect, in red and black; Colour print on paper; Within a pattern book (8337.1-184).

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

ca. 1852-1874 (made)

Artist/maker

Jones, Owen, born 1809 - died 1874 (designer (surface design))
Townsend, Parker & Co. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Colour print on paper

Dimensions

Height: 38.8 cm, Width: 52 cm

Object history note

Given by Miss Catherine Jones, daughter of the artist.

Descriptive line

Specimen of wallpaper with a design of formalised foliage creating a diaper-work effect, in red and black; Colour print on paper; Design by Owen Jones; Probably produced by Townsend, Parker & Co.; Within a pattern book (8337.1-184); Great Britain; ca. 1852-1874.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Oman, Charles C. and Hamilton, Jean. Wallpapers: a history and illustrated catalogue of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Sotheby Publications, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982.
Saunders, Gill. Wallpaper in Interior Decoration. V&A Publications. London. 2002. pp. 108-109. pl 91.

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Colour printing

Subjects depicted

Foliation (pattern); Diaper-work

Categories

Wall coverings; Prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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