THE IN-SITU CONSERVATION TREATMENT OF A NINETEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH SCENIC WALLPAPER: LES PAYSAGES DE TÉLÉMAQUE DANS L'ILE DE CALYPSO
Doris A. Hamburg
IN 1836 PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON (1767–1845) purchased the French scenic wallpaper Les Paysages de Télémaque dans l'île de Calypso1 to decorate the grand stair-central hallway of his Tennessee home the Hermitage. The wallpaper remains in place today, providing a vivid link to the history of the house and its owner as well as an example of nineteenth-century decor and taste. The wallpaper was the subject of a major preservation effort during the summers of 1978 and 1979.2, 3
The Hermitage retains the original floor plan typical of many large Southern homes. A long and wide grand hallway (54 feet by 11 feet) served as entry way, reception room, and occasional ballroom. Doors at the north and south ends, when opened, allowed for cross-ventilating breezes. To the sides of the central hallway are the parlor and bedrooms. The winding stairway leads to the second floor and more bedrooms.