WALLPAPER FROM THE TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY IN THE COLLECTION OF THE ARCHITECTURAL INVESTIGATION GROUP (19. - 20. gs. mijas tapetes SIA 'Arhitektoniskas izpetes grupa' kolekcija)
This article analyses wallpaper design from a rather narrow period - the turn of the centuries (from 1890s to 1914) and uses original materials found in the archives of Architectural Investigation Group (AIG). The AIG archives host one of the largest historical wallpaper collections in Latvia. It is predominantly comprised of wallpaper samples from the turn of the 20th century (360 units in total). This is a particularly prominent period in Latvian art history with its pluralism of stylistic schools, new tendencies in visual arts and quests for unified interior ensembles characteristic of Art Nouveau, all of which is well reflected in wallpaper design. The collection's samples can be classified according to their material as well as stylistic tendencies in ornament design. Depending on the characteristics of the material, two main groups can be distinguished: smooth wallpaper (339 samples in total) and relief wallpaper (21 sample). Smooth wallpaper is made of paper - the most popular material. Most of the collection consists of the so-called natural wallpaper, whereby one of the motif colours or background colour is supplied by the actual paper mass (approximately 210 samples). Usually this type of wallpaper is printed using glue-based paint with 2 to 6 tones. The second type of smooth wallpaper is manufactured by printing the ornament separately on an already coloured surface (121 samples). The third type of wallpaper imitates the texture of velvet fabric and is also classed as smooth wallpaper (8 samples). Relief wallpaper was manufactured from paper mass as well as other materials. Lincrust wallpaper was among one of the best and long-lasting types of such wallpaper.
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