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    Triinu Väikmeri

  • Cultural Heritage and Conservation
  • MA
  • Paper wallcoverings produced in the Soviet Estonian Republic
  • Tutor: Kadri Kallaste (PhD)

The closer study of Estonian wallpaper history has only recently begun, but the documentation of Soviet-era wallpapers is still considered irrelevant due to the short time distance. Because of the work- and time consuming nature of wallpaper layers separation, the top layers are often left undocumented. Still, the Soviet-era wallpapers should be valued as an important part of Estonian industrial art and interior history.

The master’s thesis focuses on patterned paper wallcoverings produced in the Estonian SSR. The research looks into the process of creating and printing wallpaper patterns, studies materials and the printing techniques used in the process, by analyzing the wallpapers of Tallinn Paper Factory and Kohila Paper Factory. The authors of the pattern designs are identified in the process and the topics of preservation, documentation, reuse and reproduction are discussed.

Wallpaper manufacturing in Tallinn Paper Factory. Photo O. Juhani, 1962.
First pattern produced in the Kohila Paper Factory. Photo J. Moks, 1984.
Worker of the Kohila Paper Factory presenting the products. Photo. J. Moks.

During the master’s thesis, a total of 116 different wallpaper patterns produced in the Estonian SSR were documented and the authors of ten patterns were identified. The research will hopefully help professionals in their work with wallpapers. By knowing the material better, makes it possible to appreciate the values that different layers of wallpaper can carry.