Saturday, January 30, 2016

How to buy "Backstory"

For anyone looking for information on the history of wallpaper--particularly from the viewpoint of the makers, sellers, and hangers--this volume may well be the solution. It features 16 chapters, ranging from "Rediscovering Wallpaper" to "Bringing the Backstory Forward." Accompanying these are a glossary and three appendixes. Full of anecdotal references introducing interesting characters who define the historical development of and improvements in the use of this decorative material, the book makes for refreshing reading. The focus is on the material culture, its use, and the people involved with it, rather than the surface design. Readers will see how wallpaper developed in Europe, particularly in France and England, and follow its interjection into the North American colonies. Although several dozen illustrations are included, most are historic in nature, and all are black and white. This volume is appropriate for all readership levels.
Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals; general readers.

This well-researched book explores the history of wallpaper and gives an in-depth look at the who, what, where, and how of wallpaper in England, Europe, China, and America. The visually inclined may wish there were more to view, but the line drawings of paper designs by Jean-Michel Papillon and other early illustrations of printers and installers at work are fascinating. With plenty of original research, as evidenced in the extensive back material, this well-written book is informative and engaging. (M.A.D. staff)

"The Backstory of Wallpaper: Paper-Hangings 1650-1750" is a unique scholarly treatise examining the phenomena of wallpaper, especially during America's colonial days. The concept of wallpaper became popular enough to span an ocean from Europe to America, but in its earliest days, was it truly only for the wealthy? Who bought, sold, and installed it? How expensive was it at the time? The Backstory of Wallpaper explores all these questions, and compares wallpaper to other options for decoration…black-and-white illustrations enhance this methodical, heavily researched and carefully documented scrutiny of an often-overlooked aspect of everyday art, decoration and culture. Highly recommended, especially for scholarly or historical library collections.

THEY LAUGHED WHEN I SAT DOWN TO READ ABOUT WALLPAPER!: "My wife kept laughing at me when she saw me reading this, but I kept reading because it was great…it is well written, engaging, and provides a fascinating insight into geography and history….."