You Finish It! Prints and Patterns from the Rosson House
Wallpaper covers the walls of the beautifully decorated Rosson House Museum. Its design is essential to recreating the colorful and eclectic style of the Victorian era. When the museum was being restored in the 1970’s, volunteers uncovered the original design from 1895 and had it replicated for us to enjoy to this day.
Patterns in the Rosson House are often symmetrical — meaning if you folded it in half, the pattern is reflected on the other side — like looking in a mirror! Symmetry can be seen all throughout nature and in art, providing balance and harmony in paintings, textiles, architecture, and more. This design from the back hallway of the museum is a good example — imagine folding the pattern in half and seeing the reflected sides.
Now it’s your turn- print the Wallpaper Symmetry worksheet and draw in the rest of the design of the wallpaper from the Rosson House. Remember- the pattern should be the same on the other side of the line as if it were looking into a mirror. Color the finished design with the colors you would put in your Victorian house. If you need to, look at the picture of the original for inspiration.
To learn more about the wallpaper restoration ….
Volunteers with the Junior League scraped through many layers of paint and wallpaper to get to the earliest layer.
Experts looked at the samples to make sure they were from around 1895.
Waterhouse Wallcoverings specializes in historic restorations and replicated the wallpaper for us. We’re still on their list of clients.
And you can even find one of our wallpapers in their archive.
To learn more about the history of wallpaper ...
Wallpaper has been around since the 1500s and has changed with not only with fashion, but also technology, economics, politics (remember the Stamp Tax that made Colonists so mad), and social change.
Check out this information from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London: https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/a-brief-history-of-wallpaper Be sure to watch the video and search for the William Morris Collection.
Or look through samples of historic wallpapers from the collections of Historic New England. https://www.historicnewengland.org/explore/collections-access/wallpaper/