Innovations in commercial wallcoverings applications have kept up with the changing times. Walls no longer exist for functional and practical purposes alone — as protective layers or room separators. These days, walls are the artist’s canvas. With more materials and application methods to choose from, commercial wallcoverings in offices, shopping areas, hotels and museums now serve as vehicles for artistic expression.

One of the recent innovative projects for commercial wallcoverings was undertaken for the Kenosha Civil War Museum in Wisconsin by the National Guild of Professional Paperhanger. A total of sixty-one photo murals of varying sizes were installed. Some of the photo murals were 18 feet by 40 feet in size, and smaller ones were 18 feet by 3 feet in size. The sectioned murals were installed soon after arrival at the museum and before other decorative structures were built, to make room for scissor lifts and scaffoldings used for installation.

The murals were photographic images depicting events and faces from the Civil War. The Civil war was the first war captured on film. The film chronicles were the sources of the blown-up photo murals. Relief cuts made the mural conform to the museum’s architectural features. This made the commercial wallcoverings application more complicated than when the mural is installed on flat walls. Some of the murals have to be installed in connecting areas between buildings, making the task of setting up this unique commercial wallcoverings application even more challenging.

In the end, the photo murals became a fitting tribute to the soldiers who paid with their lives for this unique place in the museum and in history.