mercedes coon

Art History

Mercedes Coon is graduating with a degree in Art History with a minor in Studio Art. Her research interests are in modern design and Baroque architecture. Within the next year, she plans to apply to graduate programs in art history. With more experience and education, Mercedes hopes to work in art museums or centers.



Sticking Around: Convergences between Wallpaper and European Fine Art (19th through 20th Centuries)

While art history has long documented the influence of avant-garde aesthetics on decorative arts and design, the discipline has largely neglected the impact of the decorative arts on so-called “fine arts.” This paper investigates the under-recognized mutual dependence between the fine arts and the decorative arts form of wallpaper design between the early 19th and mid-20th centuries in Western Europe. By comparing wallpaper designs and works that are generally considered fine art, my paper reveals a surprising visual dialogue between the two and suggests a co-dependence between wallpaper and fine art.

I argue that wallpaper design kept various art movements thriving not just financially, but also inspired artists through its mass circulation. By examining wallpaper manufacturers alongside artists, this paper enhances our understanding of the importance of wallpaper—and by extension, decorative arts—in the art world.