Chinoiserie 1864-2018 • The Hamlen Collection®
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Press info / Holly Alderman

Holly Alderman South Hadley

The third generation of Aldermans in architectural arts, Holly Alderman grew up on a panoramic road of early modernism designed by MIT architect Bissell Alderman FAIA in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and in the rustic Mt. Monadnock mountain zone of Jaffrey and Dublin, New Hampshire. Holly studied art and architecture and was a teaching assistant in Design Science at Harvard, where she also became a special assistant and editor for the President's Office, Overseers, and department chairs at the medical school.

     Alderman entered the National Academy Mural Fellowship competition in New York in 2004, where she crossed the digital divide to design original digital formats for site-specific wall decor composed to blend transparent imagery of iconic statues, cityscapes and architecture of the Upper East Side, followed by a special exhibit of landscape and sculpture compositions printed on outdoor fabrics for Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish NH. 

     Alderman produces museum quality hand painted antique wallpapers as renewed limited edition art, both Chinese ideal gardens and French grisaille monumental landscapes together with Wallquest, one of the most innovative wallpaper manufacturers in the world with distribution to over 60 countries. Alderman develops bespoke editions of hand painted chinoiserie brought from China in the mid 1860s by Nathaniel Hamlin of Bostonsailing on the clipper ship Union, in new, premium forest-certified paper and organic cotton and other fine fabrics in The Hamlen Collection for Devens H. Hamlen. She also produces renewed bespoke editions of two extremely rare French style grisaille (gray) narrative landscape wallpaper panoramas, Views of Italy and the Bay of Naples and Views of Antiquity, first produced by Dufour in 1815 and 1820.

Holly Alderman Scenic Wallpaper at Bermingham & Co., NYC, Dufour Antiques Anew

Printing original wallpaper panoramas by hand using wood blocks in the early 19th century required more than twenty artisans to work in extreme secrecy for an entire year.

     Working with Wallquest for digital renewal and printing since 2014, Alderman's wallpapers in bespoke limited edition panels and panoramas and fabrics and art for framing are customized and set up in digital formats by a digital team in less than a week.

     Alderman has been a speaker about "digital innovations in interior design" at the D&D Building in New York and at four Boston Society of Architects annual conferences. She has written and designed blogs and websites since 1993 and wrote features and profiles for Cambridge, Belmont and Monadnock area newspapers and magazines. She has designed historical exhibitions and walking tours of Beacon Hill and Cambridge, for Harvard, Suffolk, and other universities.

She painted public murals with grants from arts councils of Massachusetts, Cambridge and Belmont, and taught public mural design and decorative painting.

     Alderman's art and decor have appeared in over 40 locations and exhibitions from Southern California to Maine, to London and Istanbul, also a retrospective of symmetry silkscreens at RISD in 2016, interior decorative painting and decor on TOH, Dream House and Today, five Decorator Show Houses, covers of Publishers Weekly, Harvard Magazine and novels by Nathaniel West and Saul Bellow among others, and designed the 600+page best seller Woman's Almanac, 12 How to Handbooks in One. 

Holly Alderman Artist Wallpaper designer with Sarah McLellan

     She and her family with three children lived in Harvard Square, Cambridge and Dublin, New Hampshire. While children were in school, Holly played tennis on doubles teams, won B-level singles tournaments and golf driving contests. Her daughter Sarah is the Managing Director of the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York and lives in Brooklyn; Mary is a math teacher in Silicon Valley with an MAT from UC Santa Cruz, and Eliot is a landscape gardener and runner in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Holly greatly enjoys transforming their 1906 arts and crafts shingled summer house designed by William Emerson of Cambridge, with customized digital chic wallpaper and fabrics.