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Object Timeline

1946

  • Work on this object began.

1950

  • We acquired this object.

  • Work on this object ended.

1995

2011

2014

2017

  • You found it!

Sidewall, Views of Paris, 1946–50

This is a Sidewall. It was designed by Saul Steinberg and manufactured by Piazza Prints Inc.. It is dated 1946–50 and we acquired it in 1950. Its medium is screen printed on paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

While Steinberg trained as an architect, he is best known for his satirical cartoons in The New Yorker. He began drawing shortly after enrolling in college and had his first cartoon published in The New Yorker in 1941, and even after joining the US Navy in 1943 he continued sending in cartoons from his various stations across Europe. Over the span of his career he illustrated 85 covers and had 642 illustrations published in The New Yorker.
During the 1950s, he was also busy designing wallpapers, as the Cooper-Hewitt contains eight different designs created from 1946 through the early 1950s. All but one of these was printed by Piazza Prints. All contain the wonderful line illustrations Steinberg is famous for, with his whimsy, anecdotal humor, unusual perspectives and changes in scale. This is one of two designs by Steinberg containing Parisian themes, the other being the Opera. This design contains illustrations of many well-known Parisian landmarks all drawn with an unusual perspective that appears to zoom in and out at random, creating a very upbeat design with a wonderful rhythm. Of special interest and one of the unique aspects of the Cooper Hewitt collection, the original drawing for this wallpaper is also contained in the museum collection. Interest in Paris and other European cities was greatly enhanced by the boom in international travel following the end of World War II.
Other Steinberg works in the Cooper-Hewitt permanent collection include designs for other wallpapers, posters, and printed textiles with both similar and different patterns than the wallpapers. Owing to the fun and timeless nature of the designs, Views of Paris and other Steinberg designs are still available on wallpaper and textiles through Schumacher.

This object was donated by Harvey Smith and catalogued by Horace L. Hotchkiss, Jr.. It is credited Gift of Harvey Smith.

Our curators have highlighted 9 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

Its dimensions are

114 x 76 cm (44 7/8 x 29 15/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall, Views of Paris, 1946–50; Designed by Saul Steinberg (American, b. Romania, 1914–1999); USA; screen printed on paper; 114 x 76 cm (44 7/8 x 29 15/16 in.); Gift of Harvey Smith; 1950-126-4-a,b

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibitions Making Design and Kitsch to Corbusier: Wallpapers from the 1950s.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18383769/ |title=Sidewall, Views of Paris, 1946–50 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=23 November 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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