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DateLecture
14 January 2020A Decorative Art: The History of Wallpaper
10 December 2019Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh - Why these gifts?
12 November 2019Gardens of Earthly Delight: Nature, Flora and Architecture in Art
08 October 2019Raphael: A Master in the Making
09 July 2019Historic Gardens of the Italian Lakes
11 June 2019Dreamtime to Machine Time - Aboriginal Art
14 May 2019The Wind in the Willows Revisited through its Illustrators
09 April 2019The Legendary Lee Miller
12 March 2019A Passion for Fashion
12 February 2019Celebrating the Royal Academy of Arts: 250th Anniversary 1768-2018
08 January 2019Faber & Faber: 90 Years of Excellence in Cover Design
11 December 2018Glad Tidings: The Story of the Annunciation
13 November 2018Expressionism- Emotion vs Intellect (Die Bruecke/ Blauer Reiter/ Kandinski)
09 October 2018As Good as Gold: The Significance and Symbolism of Gold throughout the History of Art
10 July 2018The Taj Mahal: Its Architecture, Origins, Construction, Interiors and Surroundings
12 June 2018The Art and Culture of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
08 May 2018Edward Seago: Landscape Perfectionist and Royal Favourite
10 April 2018Emperor Qianlong - Ultimate Renaissance Ruler and Fine Art Collector
13 March 2018The Good Life: Gimson and The Barnsleys - Inventing the Cotswold Style
13 February 2018Counter Memorials: Germany's Post WWII Culture of Apology and Atonement
09 January 2018The Foundations of Fashion: The History of Underwear from the 18th to the 20th Century
12 December 2017Christmas at Covent Garden: 300 Years of Christmas Shows at one of London's Greatest Theatres
14 November 2017A Photographic Odyssey: Shackleton's Endurance Expedition Captured on Camera
10 October 2017The Role of the Royal Mistress in History
11 July 2017Riviera Paradise: Art, Design and Pleasure on the Cote D'Azur in the 1920's and '30's
13 June 2017To Please the Palate, Charm the Eye; 400 years of food as Ephemeral Art
09 May 2017England's Golden Age of Cabinet Making
11 April 2017Fine Cell Work: Creativity within UK Prisons
14 March 2017The Shakers of North America: Their Beliefs, Architecture and Artefacts
14 February 2017Vermeer's Quiet Interiors
10 January 2017The Gardens of Ireland
13 December 2016Treasures of the Silk Road - from China to the Mediterranean
08 November 2016The Hazards of the Journey: Pilgrimage and Travel in the Middle Ages
11 October 2016British Sporting Art
12 July 2016"In paynted pots is hidden the deadliest poison" English Delftware Drug Jars
14 June 2016Classicism to Chintz:English Country House Interiors
10 May 2016The Work of an Angel': Medieval Manuscript Illumination
12 April 2016Barbara Hepworth, the Stones and the Sea: Influences of Yorkshire and Cornwall
08 March 2016Sir Edwyn Lutyens
09 February 2016The Elgin Marbles
12 January 2016El Greco and Toledo
08 December 2015Three Great Families and their Gardens
10 November 2015Egypt’s Unique Royal Couple: the Art of Akhenaten & Nefertiti
13 October 2015Not Just Giotto: Reassessing Art in Florence c.1280-1348
01 October 2014MDFAS Lecture programmes 2011-2015

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A Decorative Art: The History of Wallpaper Jo Banham Tuesday 14 January 2020

,Wallpaper is often regarded as the Cinderella of the Decorative Arts – the most ephemeral and least precious of the decorations produced for the home. Yet, the history of wallpaper is a long and fascinating subject that dates back to the 16th century and encompasses a huge range of beautiful patterns created both by anonymous hands and by some of the best-known designers of the 19th and 20th centuries. This lecture explores the history and development of this product from earliest times up to the present day. It includes a discussion of the changing ways in which wallpaper was made and a survey of designs from the first black and white patterns, the creation of elegant flock hangings, the fashion for Chinese hand-painted papers, the introduction of machine-printing, the designs of Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the taste for Modernist and Contemporary designs in the 20th century. It also includes a discussion of the ways that wallpapers were used within grand and more ordinary homes, and hopes to justify the claim that they were indeed a truly Decorative Art.

Further Reading on this fascinating subject can be found here.

Jo Banham

Jo is a freelance curator, lecturer and writer. From 2006-2016 she was Head of Adult Learning at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and before that Head of Learning and Access at the National Portrait Gallery, and Head of Public Programmes at Tate Britain. She has also been Curator of Leighton House and Assistant Keeper at the Whitworth Art Gallery.

Jo has published on many aspects of Victorian and early 20th century decoration and interiors. She is currently curating an exhibition on William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement for the Juan March Fundacion in Madrid and the Museu Nacional d’Art Catalunya in Barcelona. She is also Director of the Victorian Society Summer School.