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Edward B. Sides

(c. 1864-1928)
Born: Pennsylvania, U.S.

Edward (Eddy or Eddie) B. Sides was born in 1864 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Son of a miller, his family moved to Philadelphia where he became an artist and fresco painter. Around 1887 when he was about 22, Sides was hired by Charles Booz, head designer at M.H. Birge & Sons in Buffalo, New York, to become an assistant wallpaper designer.

Booz and Sides worked together for the next 35 years as Birge grew into the country’s most respected manufacturer of artistic paper hangings. Sides (along with Booz and fellow Birge designer Samuel Lloyd) was also an enthusiast amateur photographer and a founding member of the Buffalo Photo-Pictorialists, showing his work both nationally and in Europe. In 1921, the year before his mentor Booz’s death, Sides would hire 28-year-old artist Charles E. Burchfield to join the Birge design department.

By the time Edward B. Sides passed away in 1928, he had produced industry-leading work through the shifting tastes of the country for over 40 years, from the Aesthetic Movement through Romanesque, Empire, Arts & Crafts, Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, Mediterranean, and into the early Modernistic/Art Deco era – a remarkable feat of artistic talent and flexibility, and a bridge from Booz and the High Victorian era to Burchfield and the dawning of Modernism.

--Bo Sullivan
Designer & Historian

Bolling & Co.     Arcalus Period Design