Masculinities, Wallpaper, and Crafting Domestic Space within the University, 1795-1914
During renovations in the late 1990s, a ‘wallpaper sandwich’—made up of twelve preserved layers of wallpaper—was removed from the wall of a student room at Peterhouse College, at the University of Cambridge. This sandwich, now in the collection of the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture at Middlesex University, provides a tangible connection to the temporary domestic spaces created by the students at the college. Unique within the museum’s collections, these wallpapers were chosen, hung, and lived with by generation after generation of students for over two hundred years. The wallpapers salvaged from this discovery had been hung between 1795 and the twentieth century. The designs of these papers range from delicate florals to stylised, block-printed designs, and provide a microcosmic view of the tastes of generation upon generation of male Cambridge students.