The Backstory of Wallpaper: Paper-Hangings 1650-1750
Robert M. Kelly
Reviewed for LibraryThing
Robert Kelly has meticulously researched the global sources and cultural evolution that saw wooden panels replaced by fabric panels then paper panels, which became wallpaper in the form we know today. The popularity of wallpaper in Europe and the North American colonies was meteoric; what started as essentially folk art for the lower classes became so universal that that the British Crown was able to levy a wallpaper tax in 1712.
The author writes with enthusiasm, humor and an expertise that combines his historical research and his technical observations as a paperhanger. The Backstory of Wallpaper is more than scholarly treatise in the origins of wallpaper; it is a love letter to an under-appreciated but vibrant decorative art.