The History of Wallpaper

Weekend course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
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From 16th century patterns to the present day, explore the alluring evolution of wallpaper. Analysing the production and cultural context of a range of examples including Chinese hand-painted papers and 20th century Modernist designs, you will gain a new admiration for this truly decorative art.

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course photo
Portrait of Course Leader Joanna Banham

Course Leader
Joanna Banham

Joanna Banham was Head of the Adult Programmes in the Learning Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum from 2006 - 2016. She is currently co-curator of an exhibition on William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement organised by the Juan March Fundacion, Madrid and the Museu Nacional de Arte Catalunya, Barcelona.

Joanna Banham was an excellent speaker and clearly highly accomplished in the field. A real treat to hear her presentation. 2017/18 course student

Course overview

Wallpaper is the most ephemeral of the decorations produced for the home yet its history is a long and fascinating subject that dates back to the 16th century and encompasses a huge range of patterns by both anonymous designers and by some of the best-known names in the 19th and 20th centuries. This course allows you to explore the development of wallpaper from earliest times to the present day. Discuss the changing ways in which wallpaper was made with experts through a survey of designs from the first black and white patterns, the creation of elegant flock hangings, the fashion for Chinese hand-painted papers, the introduction of machine-printing, the designs of Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the taste for Modernist and Contemporary designs in the 20th century. You will also explore the ways that wallpapers were used within grand and more ordinary homes and hopes to justify the claim that they were indeed a truly decorative art.


Further information

• Refreshments served • Price reductions available for Seniors (60+), jobseekers (ES40 holders) and registered disabled people

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Weekend course: The History of Wallpaper

1 December 2018 - 2 December 2018

£147.00 - £195.00

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Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)