Wallpaper Conservation, 2016

brightly coloured wallpaper samples

MoDA holds extensive wallpaper collections, including four important wallpaper albums from the Palladio range. Find out how we made them more accessible.

MoDA holds four Palladio wallpaper sample books, each featuring different designs. Other albums from the range are held at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and the V&A in London.

Large format wallpaper albums such as those in the Palladio range are difficult to handle because they are heavy, unwieldy, and fragile. But they are popular with students and visitors because they feature strongly graphic designs in eye-catching colours.

Conservation Funding

In 2016 MoDA successfully secured a grant of just under £5,000 from the Association of Independent Museums to conserve three of these wallpaper albums (numbers 2,3 and 4 – number 1 was in good condition already). Our aim was to make them more accessible to users both now and in the future.

MoDA’s conservator Emma Shaw  worked with freelance conservator Sonja Scholl to devise a conservation plan. This included carefully disassembling the wallpaper albums, cleaning and repairing each page, and flattening any creases. Each sheet (ie each page of the album) was strengthened with Japanese paper, and each album was re-bound in a full cloth cover.

We are grateful to the Association of Independent Museums for their support. This conservation work laid the groundwork for further research on the Palladio albums resulting in an exhibition and publication in 2016.

AlM Preventive Conservation Grant supported by The Pilgrim Trust