wed02oct6:30 pmLecture: 'Tasteful, Effective and Original': the taste for innovation and tradition in wallpaper designs revealed by the Cowtan & Sons Order BooksLecture by Dr Wendy Andrews6:30 pm The Georgian Group, 6 Fitzroy Square, FitzroviaBook now

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London-based Cowtan & Sons originated as a high-class wallpaper manufacturer in 1791 and decorated hundreds of buildings including royal palaces, country houses, vicarages and public institutions, in the United Kingdom and overseas, for over a century until the business closed in 1938. Cowtan’s order books (1824-1938), held in the Prints & Drawings Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum, contain thousands of samples of hand- and machine-printed wallpapers, wallcoverings and furnishing textiles alongside customers’ names, addresses and order dates. They often identify rooms to be decorated, from drawing rooms, libraries and boudoirs to butlers’ pantries, housemaids’ bedrooms and gardeners’ cottages.

In this talk, Dr Wendy Andrews will examine how the Cowtan orders illustrate changing, as well as enduring, tastes in wallpaper colours, patterns and materials, and will also consider how patterns popular in the late Georgian period continued to be requested by customers into the early twentieth century.

Wendy Andrews was awarded a PhD in Architecture from the University of Cambridge in 2017. Her doctoral thesis on the Cowtan & Sons’ archive was supported by the Cambridge Arts & Humanities Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership. She also holds a Master of Studies (MSt) in Building History from the University of Cambridge and a BA Hons in English & History of Art from the University of Leicester. Wendy is part-time Research Associate at Queens’ College Cambridge and part-time Course Tutor for the MSt in Building History at the University of Cambridge. She also undertakes research projects on historic interiors.

Doors open 6.15pm, talk starts 6.30pm (inc. wine). All welcome

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(Wednesday) 6:30 pm


The Georgian Group

6 Fitzroy Square, Fitzrovia

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