Department of Visual Arts
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Visual Arts Department Student Community Projects
Digital Restoration of Historic Wallpaper at
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.
Eastern Connecticut State University Design Group 2003