Chinese wallpaper conference

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Detail from one of the prints used as wallpaper in the Chinese Dressing Room at Saltram. NT 872998 ©National Trust/Andrew Bush

Regular readers of this blog may remember me mentioning the possibility of a conference on Chinese wallpapers in historic houses. I am happy to announce that this conference is going ahead and will take place in London on 7 and 8 April, with an optional excursion on 9 April.

The Dressing Room with hand painted wallpaper from China at Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire

Section including a phoenix from the painted bird-and-flower wallpaper in the State Bedroom at Nostell Priory, supplied by Thomas Chippendale in 1771. NT 959651 ©National Trust Images/J. Whitaker

Day one will be hosted by Coutts & Co, who still have an eighteenth-century landscape wallpaper in their boardroom that was owned by the founder of the firm, Thomas Coutts.

Day two will be at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and will include the viewing of sections of Chinese wallpaper from their collection and a visit to their paper conservation studio.

The optional excursion on day three is a visit to the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, to see the role Chinese wallpaper played in the Prince Regent’s decorative vision (and again including the viewing of some archived wallpaper).

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Figure of a labourer in the landscape wallpaper painted on silk in the Chinese Bedroom at Saltram. NT 872999 ©National Trust/Andrew Bush

The conference will look at Chinese wallpaper in the round, including Chinese, European, art-historical, economic, social and conservation perspectives.

We are fortunate in having been able to assemble an authoritative group of speakers from from Europe, America and China, who will be sharing some of their latest research.

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Detail of a bird of prey in the painted bird-and-flower wallpaper at Erddig, probably hung in the 1770s. NT 1153114 ©National Trust/Andrew Bush

More information about the conference papers and the speakers can be found on the conference website, which includes a booking link.


8 Responses to “Chinese wallpaper conference”

  1. cinziarobbiano Says:

    Oh if only I could follow…thank you for sharing and for your fascinating posts🙂

  2. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Thank you. We hope to make at least some of the papers available in some way following the conference, for those who cannot attend.

  3. columnist Says:

    This is from columnist, (not “ewatakumist”, which WordPress seemed to conjure up, tsk, tsk…)

    I expect you may have seen this:

    I will look forward to any news you have post conference.

  4. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Thanks Columnist. Yes that is a great story. Of course the article is comparing apples with pears slightly, as for Lady Hertford the Audubon would just have been an expensive picture book, rather than the stratospheric treasure it is today. But it is a fascinating example of someone embellishing their Chinese wallpaper with western cut-outs. And it is great to see that Temple Newsam is getting some good publicity.

  5. trewinb Says:

    I just noticed that this appears to be the 104th post on chinoiserie. Almost merits a separate blog. Is this a special interest area of yours? Very interesting all the same.

  6. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Wow, is it that many? And I noticed recently I have done just over 500 posts in total, so that means about 20% of those are on chinoiserie. I am thinking about changing the scope of this blog slightly, as there are now more channels on the main National Trust website featuring collections ( It will probably become more niche in some ways – which is probably good anyway as blogs tend to thrive on being fairly tightly focused.

  7. trewinb Says:

    I have certainly enjoyed the blog with its current broad scope. You never know what interesting article is next. On the subject of other NT blogs, I have noticed that many of the links no longer work, indicating fewer rather than an expanding number of blogs. Is there a central source for current NT blogs?

  8. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Thank you. That reminds me I should check those links that I list here, to check whether they are still live or active. Yes initially there was a proliferation of NT blogs, and now I think we are in a period of consolidation. I don’t think there is a central source, partly because it would be a lot of work to try to constantly keep track.

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