Wall Stories: Children's Wallpaper and Books

October 3, 2008 – April 5, 2009

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street
New York, NY

2nd Floor

This exhibition explores the relationship between wallpapers and books created for children, through works from the permanent collection and the National Design Library. From the beginning in the 1870s, children's wallpapers have been strongly influenced by literature and popular culture. Works on view include papers illustrated with nursery rhymes and designs inspired by works of fiction and adventure, such as Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. The exhibition also traces the evolution of children's books from instructional to fictional and includes such developments as movable and pop-up books, which added an interactive element to children's reading.