Object Timeline

1957

  • Work on this object began.

2016

2019

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Sidewall, Parade, 1957

This is a Sidewall. It was designed by John Rombola and manufactured by Harben Papers, Inc.. It is dated 1957 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is screen printed on paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

This group of four designs runs the gamut of Rombola’s wallpaper career, which began in 1956 and continued until 1968. His designs are whimsical, a mix of naïve and fantastical, and most are full of color and pattern. The simple line illustrations, often quite gestural, are reminiscent of the creations of Saul Steinberg (1914-1999). Though unlike Steinberg, Rombola’s characters and motifs are composed of intricate patterns and bright colors.
One of his earlier wallpaper designs, Parade captures the excitement of the circus coming to town, with fanciful horse-drawn carriages, acrobats, jugglers, and exotic animals, all highly stylized and brightly costumed. Demonstrating characteristics of his early work, Parade is a rather dense composition of delicate patterns which creates a lace-like effect against the white ground.
Cooper Hewitt's collection contains thirty-six objects by Rombola including eight wallpapers and a number of car cards produced for the New York City subway, as well as original artwork for both car cards and wallpapers. The addition of these wallpapers will provide a more complete view of Rombola’s work and help show the evolution of his wallpaper designs. It will also build on the existing collection of mid-century papers and create a stronger American presence.

This object was donated by John Rombola. It is credited Gift of John Rombola.

Its dimensions are

L x W: 127 × 76.2 cm (50 × 30 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed in right selvedge: "Parade" design by John Rombola handscreen print by Harben Papers, Inc. New York.

Cite this object as

Sidewall, Parade, 1957; Designed by John Rombola (American, b. 1933); screen printed on paper; L x W: 127 × 76.2 cm (50 × 30 in.); Gift of John Rombola; 2016-41-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/420563731/ |title=Sidewall, Parade, 1957 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 May 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>