Sidewall, Cherry Forever, 2007
This is a Sidewall. It was designed by Michael Angelo and manufactured by Flavor Paper. It is dated 2007 and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is screenprinted, microencapsulated scented oils. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.
Cherry Forever is one of three scented wallpapers by Flavor Paper and is the first commercially produced scratch-and-sniff wallpaper. Available in three flavors—cherry, banana, and tutti-frutti—this paper is produced using technology first developed by 3M in 1965. Fragrance oils are microencapsulated and printed on the wallpaper surface; the fragrance is released by scratching, which breaks the microencapsulated cells. It is possible for the scent to last up to 20 years, but since scratching abrades the printed surface we may not find out.
Novelty papers go back at least as far as the mid-19th century. They were frequently commemorative, amusing, or educational, and frequently contained landscape vistas and trompe l’oeil elements. Novelty papers were usually hung in the less formal rooms of the home, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, or children’s rooms. Novelty papers reached their peak in the 1950s in the postwar boom, but have experienced a revival since the mid-1990s. The 21st-century emergence of many small studios printing on a small scale has allowed designers and artists to market their wares to niche audiences, thereby opening a new window for novelty papers. Many of the novelty papers produced today are political or satirical in nature.
Flavor Paper, a company based in New Orleans, first launched their wallpaper collection at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in 2004. Their studio was located in the 9th Ward and production was temporarily halted by Hurricane Katrina. The scratch-and-sniff technology used in Cherry Forever had previously been used in two art installations, but each was produced solely for the installations: an exhibition at Parsons in 2005 used the scent of donuts on panels of wallpaper, while an exhibition at MIT in 2006 used synthesized human sweat pheromones in the wall paint.
The museum has quite a nice collection of novelty papers dating back to the mid-19th century. Our earliest piece was produced in France around 1850 and shows, in deep perspective, a lively costume ball at an opera house. From the early 20th century, there are deco papers with match sticks and harlequins smoking. From the 1930s and 1940s, we have some wonderful cocktail, gambling, and kitchen papers. From the late 1940s through the 1950s, we have all kinds of kitsch wallpapers, including anthropomorphic French poodles and backyard barbeques. There are a number of op art papers from the 1960s that also fall into this category. Beginning in the 1990s, we have several papers by Virgil Marti and Francesco Simeti, who work contemporary imagery into designs based on antique formats. Acquiring Cherry Forever, the first paper of its kind, will keep our collection of novelty papers up to date.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 457.2 x 75 cm (15 ft. x 29 1/2 in.)
Cite this object as
Sidewall, Cherry Forever, 2007. screenprinted, microencapsulated scented oils. Gift of Flavor Paper and Michael Angelo. 2007-36-1.
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Wall Stories: Children's Wallpapers and Books.