Alderman Renews Rare Dufour
Dufour by Alderman: Views of Antiquity at the DDB in New York. Thanks go to Bermingham & Co., fine printing by Wallquest.
"Be sure to photograph the wallpaper. People come from all over the country to see it. It's French, by Dufour, very rare."
-- Words of wisdom while walking around rare antique wall stories at the Cambridge Historical Society at Hooper Lee Nichols House, 159 Brattle Street near Harvard Square, "the oldest house on Tory Row".
I first saw antique French wallpaper scenes when I collaborated on a brochure for an historic landmark in Cambridge. My friend advised I photograph two early 19th century Dufour pre-industrial landscape panoramas in the downstairs and upstairs reception rooms. The Bosphorus on the first floor is extremely dark, challenging to perceive the details in all gray panoramas of shores of Constantinople. Upstairs, Views of Italy and the Bay of Naples seem to wrap the room in light with tall ships, ocean horizons and travel stories.
Two centuries ago, artisans in Paris composed pre-industrial views for scenic wallpaper printed with thousands of carved wood blocks painted in six layers of gray and black variations, by the Dufour atelier, about seventy years before the invention of electric light.
The Digital Divide
In my 20s, I used 35mm black and white Kodak film in a Nikon camera, with contact sheets processed at venerable Ferranti-Dege.
I crossed the digital divide at the National Academy Mural Fellowship in New York learning Photoshop in the summer of 2004, to design wall scenes of Central Park and iconic statues.
Printing innovations such as state of the art high res scans provoked me to preserve a distressed original Dufour panorama, Views of Antiquity by digital capture.
These eastern Mediterranean travel scenes were sketched en plein air by Hilaire in 1776 and published in Voyage Pittoresque de la Grece in Paris in 1782, then were expanded to wallpaper scale by the Dufour atelier in 1815, informally called Turkish Scenes in the 19th century. The set recently renewed in fine digital imaging was imported from Paris to New York in 1931 and installed in Dublin, New Hampshire. Above, two panels exhibited at the DDB Building in New York, special thanks to Bermingham & Co.
Old French style Dufour grisaille landscape perspectives brighten and pop with minimal subtle coloration or saturation hues in the style of 1780s engravings, or expressive effects.
Holly Alderman collaborates in wallpaper, framed art and fabrics with fine art photographers, color separation artists, fine digital printers, creative interior designers and home owners looking to make a place unique and memorable.
A World View Framed by Mid Century Modernism
The third generation of Aldermans in architectural arts, Holly Alderman grew up at the end of a new road surrounded by farm pastures and vistas and early modernism in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
At the National Academy Museum Mural Fellowship in New York, Alderman crossed the digital divide from traditional mural painting techniques to layered digital imaging and printing. For the fellowship competition, chaired by Richard Haas and facilitated by artist Grace Graupe-Pillard, Alderman designed scenic murals in transparent photo blends on a screen, of Central Park sculpture and views that later became wallpaper, fabric and landscape art banners. Alderman has been a speaker about "digital innovations in interior design" at four Boston Society of Architects annual conferences.
Alderman’s original paintings, art and decor have appeared in parks, residences, restaurants, offices and museums from southern California to Maine, on TOH, Dream House and Today, four decorator show houses, with a retrospective of her symmetry silkscreens at RISD in 2016. Her designs appeared on covers of Publishers Weekly, Harvard Magazine, novels and the 600+page best seller Woman's Almanac, 12 How to Handbooks in One.
She was a graphic designer and writer of historical walking tours including, The Path of the Law from Beacon Hill to Faneuil Hall for Suffolk University and brochures for the Cambridge Historical Society. She designed and edited historical exhibitions that toured the Boston Public Library, New York Harvard Club and greater Boston. She designed covers for the Phonebook local telephone books and wrote feature profiles for community newspapers.
Holly was a teaching assistant in design with Arthur Loeb at Harvard where she organized a national 3-day conference on design science and synergetics, the structure of ordered space. She studied art and architectural history at the college. She was an assistant art teacher at Buckingham Lower School in Cambridge after college, and later taught public mural design and decorative painting and painted murals in parks with grants from Massachusetts Arts Council and arts councils of Cambridge and Belmont. She was first appointed a teaching assistant in art at 16 by a lifelong teacher who studied at École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, originally from Bern, Switzerland.
Back in South Hadley, several houses nearby and in Belmont and Lexington MA were designed in 1947-52 with panoramic walls of glass by Bissell Alderman FAIA, Alderman and MacNeish, Architects and Engineers, also Professor of Architecture at MIT whose students included I. M. Pei. His father, G.P.B. Alderman, a teen apprentice to architects in Chicago and Evanston, opened his own architecture firm at age 23: Alderman & Alderman, and continued to designed town halls, banks, apartment blocks, retail blocks, churches, synagogues, schools and park streets of Victorian houses in New England industrial cities.