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Scenic Paper, Les Côtes de Villefranche

This is a Scenic paper. It was made by Zuber & Cie. It is dated 1930 and we acquired it in 2005. Its medium is block-printed paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

La Côte de Villefranche is a beautiful example of a 20th-century scenic wallpaper. La Côte continues the theme of early 19th-century scenic papers by showing villagers at work and at play in front of a majestic harbor. It depicts fishing boats, tall ships, and ancient ruins, which were also present in Views of Italy, printed 100 years earlier. This scenic was printed with a relatively small number of wood blocks and the height of the imagery is quite low.
The Colonial Revival period sparked resurgence in the use of scenic wallpapers. While most interior designers advocated the use of antique scenics, many people could not afford this luxury. Numerous manufacturers saw the need for less expensive scenic papers and began producing designs in both historic and modern styles. This trend lasted into the 1960s, reaching its peak in the late 1950s.
Designed in 1929, this set was printed in 1930. The gift proposed for acquisition comprises a full unused set of 14 panels. At the time of proposed acquisition, the museum has two other sets of scenic papers designed and produced in the 20th century. Arcadia (ca. 1928) was block printed by the Robert Graves Company and shows a classic landscape. Scenic Hudson (1930–40) is a lithograph printed by the Schmitz-Horning Company and captures a romanticized view of the Hudson River. The museum owns two other sets of scenic papers produced by Zuber et Cie, including El Dorado (1849) and Le Paysage a Chasse (1831). We also have the scene of Niagara Falls and the Natural Bridge of Virginia from the Views of North America (1834–36). Scenic papers produced by other companies in the museum’s collection include Dufour’s Cupid and Psyche (1816) and Views of Italy (1822). Considering the demand for scenic wallpapers during the early to mid-20th century, La Côte de Villefranche will help build the museum’s collection of these popular papers.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled A 20th-century scenic paper.

It is credited Gift of Priscilla E. Muller.

Its dimensions are

Overall (Per panel): 400 x 50 cm (13 ft. 1 1/2 in. x 19 11/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Scenic Paper, Les Côtes de Villefranche; Made by Zuber & Cie (France); France; block-printed paper; Overall (Per panel): 400 x 50 cm (13 ft. 1 1/2 in. x 19 11/16 in.); Gift of Priscilla E. Muller; 2005-25-1-a/n

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