This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions), and as such we offer a high-resolution image of it. See our image rights statement.


See more objects with the color darkgrey silver slategrey grey darkkhaki or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.


  • We acquired this object.



  • You found it!

Sidewall, The Birches

This is a sidewall. It was designed by Charles Burchfield and produced by M.H. Birge & Sons Co.. It is dated 1921 and we acquired it in 2008. Its medium is machine-printed paper, embossed. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

Charles Burchfield is one of the best known American watercolorists of the 20th century. It is less well known that he began designing wallpaper for the M. H. Birge and Sons in Buffalo, New York in 1921. Burchfield became chief designer in 1927 and remained with the firm until 1929. Burchfield designed at least 19 wallpapers while working with Birge. The Birches was his first wallpaper design and is based on his 1917 painting, Bluebird and Cottonwoods.
At the time of proposed acquisition, the museum’s collection includes small Burchfield wallpaper samples, including The Birches. The sample of The Birches is one of the museum’s most popular 20th-century wallpapers and has been included in Cooper-Hewitt exhibitions. Acquiring this roll of The Birches would allow us to exhibit a larger section of the design.

This object was donated by Curtis Stetter, Sharon Stetter and Lila Harnett. It is credited Gift of Sharon and Curtis Stetter and Lila Harnett.

Its dimensions are

L x W: 670.6 x 50 cm (22 ft. x 19 11/16 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed in left selvedge: "Birge - Made in U.S.A. 1186"

Cite this object as

Sidewall, The Birches; Designed by Charles Burchfield (1893 – 1967); USA; machine-printed paper, embossed; L x W: 670.6 x 50 cm (22 ft. x 19 11/16 in.); Gift of Sharon and Curtis Stetter and Lila Harnett; 2008-19-1

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Sidewall, The Birches |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 June 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>