The “Monks” Frieze

Posted on | September 29, 2009 | 1 Comment

Have you ever thought seriously about the use of medieval monks as the central design motif for your Arts & Crafts dining room?? Well someone in 1912 did, and with some measure of success. This whimsical American decoration was machine-printed by the William Campbell Wall Paper Co. a large New Jersey manufacturer of the time. The frieze, depicting a group of gossiping clerics, apparently gained some notoriety after its manufacture, or at least the accompanying Kayser & Allman advertisement below would lead you to believe that, describing it as the “famous Monks Frieze”. Nevertheless, it does demonstrate the wide spectrum of themes wallpaper companies were experimenting with at the time to satisfy the public’s demand for large fashionable friezes.

This page from the 1912 Kayser & Allman Sketchbook of Decorations offers a suggestion as to its use with an elaborate combination of other papers in an otherwise sparsely furnished dining room.


One Response to “The “Monks” Frieze”

  1. Lynne Rutter
    January 6th, 2010 @ 10:08 pm

    I am thinking seriously about medieval monks RIGHT NOW!


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