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Object Timeline

2015

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2017

  • You found it!

Border, Peepers, 2015

This is a Border. It was manufactured by The Detroit Wallpaper Company. It is dated 2015 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is digital print on paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

One roll of Peepers wallpaper border being is offered by The Detroit Wallpaper Company. Peepers is a wide border or frieze designed for children. It is less infantile in design than other children’s papers so will not be so quickly outgrown and can be used alone on a painted wall creating an inexpensive decoration for a child’s room. The amorphous figures get smaller as they recede into the distance creating a nice perspective that would visually enlarge a smaller room.

This paper was selected from a collection of four children’s borders, each of which was designed with a child’s interests in mind without being too juvenile. Many children’s papers today have become more multi-use so it is refreshing to see an original design for children that does not contain imagery from Disney, Sponge Bob or one of today's many super heroes. This frieze comes in four standard colors, but as the company prides itself on customized colors this design was requested in a color similar to Pantone 021, Cooper Hewitt's style guide orange.

Peepers is reminiscent of the wide borders that were prevalent in the early years of the 20th century, which truly defined a room as belonging to a child. Due to the cost and ephemeral nature of these papers this style of decorating came to an end with the Great Depression, at which time rooms were designed to grow with the child. Plaid and stripe papers were commonly used, and the items that would identify the room as belonging to a child were relegated to pictures and collectibles that were easily replaced as the child’s interests changed. While reflecting on the decorative wide borders of an earlier period Peepers meets the demand today for fun, stylish and economical decoration.

Peepers would add to the museum's collection of children’s papers, offering a contemporary example designed and produced to meet the needs of today’s consumer. Cooper Hewitt's collection contains nearly 200 wallpapers designed for children dating back to the 1870s, when wallpapers for children first appeared. Examples range from early Sears, Roebuck to notable designers including Walter Crane, Niki de St. Phalle, Jean Lurçat, Kate Greenaway, and Ilonka Karasz.

This object was donated by The Detroit Wallpaper Company. It is credited Gift of The Detroit Wallpaper Company.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 61 × 304.8 cm (24 in. × 10 ft.)

It is inscribed

Printed in both top and bottom selvedge: The Detroit Wallpaper Co. © J & A Independent Inc.

Cite this object as

Border, Peepers, 2015; Manufactured by The Detroit Wallpaper Company ; digital print on paper; H x W: 61 × 304.8 cm (24 in. × 10 ft.); Gift of The Detroit Wallpaper Company; 2016-8-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/69163567/ |title=Border, Peepers, 2015 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 July 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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