Department of Visual Arts

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  Visual Arts Department Student Community Projects

Digital Restoration of Historic Wallpaper at
The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield, Connecticut


ECSU Design Group Students


Wallace Nutting photograph of the Southwest Parlor. This was the image students used as reference for the project.

Eastern Connecticut State University's senior design students joined forces with the curatorial staff of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield to digitally re-create historic wallpaper in the Museum's southwest parlor as their senior project in Graphic Design.

The only remaining documentation of the room in it's original condition are two hand colored photographs taken by Wallace Nutting (1861-1941), former owner of the Webb House and the man who gathered the Wadsworth Atheneum's famous collection of early American furniture. Nutting was a Harvard educated congregational minister, and switched careers in 1904. By the 1920s his hand tinted photographs of Colonial revivalist domestic scenes could be found throughout the homes of middle class America.

Eastern's senior design students responded to a letter from the museum's curator, seeking to restore the museum's southwest parlor by recreating the room's original wallpaper. Students proposed to create the new wallpaper digitally using scans of the two Nutting photographs as their guide. They began by making a scale drawing of the original wallpaper, which they digitized and hand colored on the computer. The image was then sized to fit the exact specifications of the southwest parlor, and sent to a company specializing in the production of digitally created wallpaper. The museum staff installed the wallpaper in early May, to coincide with the opening of the Wadsworth Atheneum's exhibition "Wallace Nutting and the Invention of Old America" in early June.

Design Group students worked in teams to identify vendors, communicate with the museum's staff, create the wallpaper and document the project.

Images from the Webb Deane Stevens Wallpaper Project
The Museum
The Process
Scale Drawings
Installation

For information on the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum visit the museum website.

Eastern Connecticut State University Design Group 2003
Chris Abbate, Long Island NY
Kelly Alves, Putnam, CT
Brock Arsenault, Putnam, CT
Margaux Barlow, Wethersfield, CT
Jennifer Chobot, Middletown, CT
Jennifer Collins, Syosset, NY
Gregg Davis, Willimantic, CT
Jared Ford, Old Lyme, CT
Christopher Kerr, Willimantic, CT
Paula Kittle, Chaplin, CT
Erin Kozloski, Oxford, Ct
Joshua Perry, Willimantic, CT
Stephanie Roe, Columbia, CT
Jennifer Trubisz, Rocky Hill, CT
Alison Wasik, Willimantic, CT

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