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Scenic, Scenic America

This is a Scenic. It was designed by Jean-Julien Deltil and manufactured by Zuber & Cie. It is dated 2001 and we acquired it in 2001. Its medium is block-printed on machine-made paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

This is a view of Boston Harbor, one scene from the scenic wallpaper Views of North America designed by Zuber in 1834. This scenic contains 32 panels and shows some of the natural wonders of the continent: New York bay, Boston harbor, Niagara Falls, & the natural bridge of Virginia. Scenic wallpapers were introduced around 1804 and remained popular with new designs being introduced until 1865. Zuber is still printing a number of these early designs today, using the original woodblocks. Scenic papers were the epitome of block printing: usually contained 24-32 panels, and each set could require thousands of wood blocks to print. There was no repeat within a set, and the last panel lines up with the first so multiple sets could be used in a room for a continuous view. This scenic is printed in 223 colors and requires 1690 wood blocks to print.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Capturing the Majesty of Niagara Falls on Wallpaper.

It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment and Pauline Cooper Noyes Funds.

  • Object ID #18177711
  • block-printed paper on pasteboard support.
  • Gift of Mrs. James O. Green.
  • 1913-12-4-a,b
  • Textile (USA)
  • rayon, silk.
  • Museum purchase from Pauline Cooper Noyes Fund.
  • 1990-165-1

Cite this object as

Scenic, Scenic America; Designed by Jean-Julien Deltil (1791 – 1863); Manufactured by Zuber & Cie (France); France; block-printed on machine-made paper; Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment and Pauline Cooper Noyes Funds; 2001-4-1-a/i

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Scenic, Scenic America |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=6 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>