The Significance of our Wallpapers

We have one of the best collections of Chinese export wallpapers in the UK. But you don’t just need to take our word for it.

Here is the expert opinion of Emile de Bruijn of the National Trust:

Apart from the Chinese wallpapers in the collections of the V&A and the National Trust (the two other major collections), the collection of Chinese wallpapers and wallpaper fragments at the Pavilion is also of international importance: it is a substantial group, it is historically connected to a specific place and person, some of the items probably don’t survive anywhere else, and it is relevant to both British and Chinese heritage. But the importance of the collection can only be recognised and utilised once it has been properly documented, photographed and made accessible.

Emile de Bruijn, Assistant National Curator Decorative Arts, National Trust

You can see Emile and staff from the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust unrolling some of our Chinese wallpapers in this Instagram Live from 13 October 2021.

Future work

The work carried out to date is a result of funding awarded in 2020 by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and has highlighted the national significance of our Adelaide Corridor wallpaper

With a further successful application to the Paul Mellon Foundation for Studies in British Art in 2021 we received another grant to work on more of our Chinese wallpaper.

The funding will enable these to be imaged, with this content available online in 2022. The papers will also be rehoused and fully catalogued. This phase will provide a greater understanding of this unique collection and will open options for improved public access in the future.

The grant will also enable paper conservator Amy Junker Heslip to carry out treatment on two fragments of wallpaper that have been rediscovered in our store of the Adelaide Corridor wallpaper.

Credits

We’re grateful for contributions to research on the Adelaide Corridor from:

Supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.