Hexagon pattern wallpaper, Humphrey Spender

Hexagon pattern wallpaper, Humphrey Spender

Hexagon pattern wallpaper
Humphrey Spender
Great Britain
Screen print on paper
Width 55.7 cm x height 54 cm
Museum no. E.956-1978
With kind permission of Arthur Andersen and Sons Ltd.

The pattern is a vertical stripe based on an expanded hexagon.

Processes and Techniques
This wallpaper is a colour screen print. This type of print is made by using a stencil. The principle of the stencil process is that the paper which is to receive the design has the areas which are to remain blank protected from the printing ink. The stencil thus protects areas to remain blank from the printing ink. In colour screen printing, the stencil is fixed to a fine mesh of silk, man-made fibre or steel, known as the screen. The screen is stretched over an open frame. The ink is pushed across its surface by a flexible blade called a squeegee and forced through the holes where the printing surface is not protected on to the paper below. A separate screen is required for each colour of the finished print.

The Designer
Humphrey Spender was an English photographer, painter and textile designer. He studied architecture at the Albert-Ludwigs Universitt, Freiburg, in Germany (1927-8) and at the Architectural Association School in London (1929-34). Spender mainly taught himself photography but he learnt techniques from his brother Michael Spender, an employee of the Leitz camera factory. He was the official photographer for the Mass Observation project in Britain from its foundation in 1937 until 1939. The project brought together painters, poets, social scientists and film makers to record the details of everyday life. Ten years later, Spender concentrated on painting and textile design. From 1953 until 1975 he was a tutor in textile design at the Royal College of Art, and for the last five years of this period he was a visiting lecturer at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, both in London.

This wallpaper can be found in Prints and Drawings Study Room box EDUC 7a.