The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport is hosting a charming exhibition featuring a rare set of scenic wallpaper.
Scenic wallpaper? Yes.
It was and, in some forms, continues to be a thing.
Here’s the museum’s introduction to “Zuber: The Art of French Scenic Wallpaper”:
The French have manufactured several types of wallpaper over the centuries, though their nineteenth-century handcrafted scenic landscape papers are arguably the most spectacular. This unique wallpaper created a breathtaking panoramic experience with all the walls in a room covered with non-repeating scenes.
These mural-like papers transformed rooms, providing the opportunity for viewers to be swept away to an exotic place or immersed in an exciting period in history.
Scenic papers enjoyed a golden era in both Europe and North America from the first decade of the 1800s until the 1860s, though they remained in print well after this period.
Zuber et Cie is the only firm that fabricates these papers today. And they still use the original antique printing blocks, which have designated Historical Monuments by the French Ministry of Culture.
The SFO Museum exhibit includes a complete set of Views of North America wallpare as well as individual lengths from other series.
Here are few more images. You can see the full set on view at San Francisco International Airport in pre-security/departures level of the International Terminal through April 2020.
All photos courtesy SFO Museum.