Wallpaper from the early nineteenth century is rarely found in complete sections today. These two samples are small but offer historians an idea of how early Americans decorated their homes. While we often think of early objects having dull, drab colors, the section of paper on the right shows how brightly colored some wallpapers were. Sunlight, smoke, soot, and chemical processes make early printed and painted items look darker today. Looking at areas of paper that have been protected by other layers of wallpaper or woodwork is a way of seeing how vibrant and festive early papers often were.
Wallpaper Fragments, 1805-1820, paper, L: 26.5 x W: 19.75. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of Ada Yates Harris, N0051.1956(01-08).