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Object Timeline

-0001

2007

  • We acquired this object.

  • Work on this object began.

2014

2019

  • You found it!

Sidewall, City Park, 2007

This is a Sidewall. It was manufactured by Flavor Paper. It is dated 2007 and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is screen printed on mylar. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

When used as a design on wallpaper, the damask format is traditionally quite formal and, historically, has been reserved for the better rooms in the home. Better-quality papers frequently contained a polished or satin ground and were printed with matte pigments which added to the glamour. The designers of City Park, however, appropriated the damask wallpaper format to incorporate iconography familiar to all city dwellers: fire hydrants, parking meters, pigeons, and rats. Although it features mundane motifs, many of which carry negative connotations, the overall composition is elegant and formal. The dichotomy between the elegant and the mundane is important to the strength of this piece. The attention to material detail is also key: the satin foil mimics the more costly grounds of earlier damask papers.
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 personified 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 City Park will keep our collection of novelty papers up to date.

This object was donated by Flavor Paper. It is credited Gift of Flavor Paper and Dan Funderburgh.

Its dimensions are

Overall: 457.2 x 76.2 cm (15 ft. x 30 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall, City Park, 2007; Manufactured by Flavor Paper (United States); USA; screen printed on mylar; Overall: 457.2 x 76.2 cm (15 ft. x 30 in.); Gift of Flavor Paper and Dan Funderburgh; 2007-36-2

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18711609/ |title=Sidewall, City Park, 2007 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=23 March 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>