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Designers rediscover the history of wallpaper in decorative art
Jan 13, 2011

Decorative arts dealer Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz will give a presentation Vintage Wallpaper Décor, with an introduction by New York-based interior designer Robert Couturier, on the rich history of wallpaper as an important element of decoration. Thibaut-Pomerantz will present a series of beautiful visuals illustrating the how small and large panels can be integrated into modern-day homes on January 28 at the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).

Scene from panoramic wallpaper “Les Rives du Bosphore” (The Banks of the Bosphorus ) by Joseph Dufour, original edition before 1812, private collection.
Originally an affordable substitute for more lavish coverings like frescoes, tapestries, leathers, and hangings, wallpaper first appeared in the form we know today in sixteenth-century England; it would later be made fashionable by sophisticated collectors and trendsetters including Thomas Jefferson, Henry du Pont, David Adler, and Jacqueline Kennedy. The late-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century marked a “golden age” for this whimsical form of décor, as papiers peints transformed the world of interiors, offering depth and perspective, creating the illusion of panoramic vistas, and incorporating dazzling narrative sequences.
Over the course of four centuries of decorative art, wallpaper would develop into a wide range of styles, from Raphael to conceptual art, and from frescoes to photography, reinterpreted by many different artists including Magritte, Warhol, and even Murakami.

Scenic wood-block “Les Chasses de Compiègne” : Le Picnic printed by Jacquemart, France 1812-15, design commissioned to the painter Carle Vernet, private collection of Jean Zuber.
Over the past twenty-five years, Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz has travelled through rural France and worldwide exploring castles and chateaux, sifting through attics, lofts, and storage rooms in an effort to rediscover and restore this unique form of art. Her wallpapers will be on view at the 2011 Park Avenue Armory Winter Antiques Show from January 21–28.

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