19th-century Britain was dominated by historical revivals such as Neo-classicism and the Gothic Revival. These design movements were riddled with religious and social connotations. Instead, Owen Jones sought a modern style with none of this cultural baggage. Setting out to identify the common principles behind the best examples of historical ornament, he formulated a design language that was suitable for the modern world. He applied this equally to wallpapers, textiles, furniture, metalwork and interiors.
Owen Jones, 'Wallpaper sample, designed for Jeffrey & Co.', about 1860. Museum no. 8337:138
Owen Jones, 'Wallpaper sample, called "Moresque";, designed for John Trumble & Co.', 1858. Museum no. 8341:50
Frank Lloyd Wright, 'Design 706' wallpaper sample, 1956, © ARS, New York, and DACS, London 2001. Museum no. E.582-1966
Owen Jones, Design for a piano, about 1860. Museum no. 8363B