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Wallpaper Scholar
65 South Prospect St.
Lee, MA 01238

(413) 243-3489

Recommended Reading


"The Papered Wall", edited by L. Hoskins, 2nd edition, Thames & Hudson, NY, 2005.

"Wallpaper in America", by Catherine Lynn, Norton, NY,1980.
The standard text in the field. A documentary study covering 1700-1914, with emphasis on French and English imports. Simply great.

"Wallpaper in New England", Richard Nylander, et al., SPNEA, Boston, 1986.
A documentary study based on the SPNEA collection, 2nd largest in the country. Largely black and white, but the catalog entries are full of data and the introductory essays bring early Boston paperstaining to life.

"Wallpaper For Historic Buildings", by Richard Nylander, Preservation Press, Washington, 1992.
The standard text for choosing a reproduction wallpaper, this is the second, expanded edition, with authoritative information on over 1000 designs, many of them illustrated.

update: "Fabrics and Wallpapers for Historic Buildings", by Richard C.
and Jane C. Nylander, hardcover, John Wiley & Sons, 2005. 
This is a joining of two classics into one volume, but note, the text for the "Wallpapers" section has not been updated.

Beyond the Basics

"French Scenic Wallpaper, 1795-1865", ed. by Odile Nouel-Kammerer, Flammarion, Paris, 2000.
Expensive and worth every penny. A great work of scholarship on many aspects of the phenomenal achievements known as "French Scenics". Features a complete catalog of all known scenics.

"Wallpaper in Interior Decoration", by Gill Saunders, Watson-Guptill, NY, 2002.
Ms. Saunders is a curator at the Victoria and Albert and has written a good all around survey.

"Authetic Decor: The Domestic Interior, 1620-1920", by Peter Thornton, Viking, NY, 1984.
Immense and immensely scholarly, but Mr. Thornton still manages to have fun.

Off the Deep End

“The Expert Paper Hanger”, by A.A. Kelly, David McKay, Philadelphia, 1912.
Packed with information, down to earth and highly recommended. May be available through an on-line book search service, probably for less than 75.00.

“Wallpaper and Wallpaper Hanging”, by C.L. Young, Century, NY, 1926.
Covers much the same ground as “The Expert Paperhanger” but not as explicit; more of an “industry” book with chapters on printing, marketing, and industry statistics. May be available on-line through a search service but may be pricey.

“The Paper-Hanger’s and Upholsterer’s Guide”, James Arrowsmith, T. Dean and Son, London, 1851.
The first American reprint is “The Paper-Hangers Companion”, 1852, T.K. and P.G. Collins. An excellent and far-reaching summary of paperhanging technique written by an elderly paperhanger at mid-century. Essential for understanding 19th century paperhanging. It is best to seek out the earlier editions at research libraries as it was reprinted about 8 times in the U.S., losing parts along the way.

“Practical Paperhanging”, A.S. Jennings, Comstock, NY, 1892.
An English decorating authority compares and contrasts American and British paperhanging; the book offers an interesting window on the world of wallpaper, mostly the “better sort”, in the late 19th century. A rare book, it is usually found only in research libraries.

"Historic Wall-Papers", by Nancy McClelland, Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1924.
Must be read carefully as it contains much outdated information, but it is still a valuable resource. It was THE wallpaper book for over 50 years, and as such had a profound influence.

"Historic Paper Hangings" by Anthony Wells-Cole, Leeds, UK, 1983.
This study of the papers found in Temple Newsam and other English houses is remarkable for its attention to detail about wallpaper use.  About 80 photos and 50 pages of dense text describe the height and width of sheets, hanging techniques, dates, costs, even data on lining papers and canvas; nothing seems to escape his attention.  The text is enlivened by interesting quotes, anecdotes, and asides.  This is a catalog of a brief exhibition (which makes its scholarship all the more remarkable) and is very hard to find.

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