Wallpaper, like all design, can be a powerful tool for communicating a specific message. Take for example wallpapers printed during the French Revolution that portrayed ribbons of red, white and blue in support of the uprising.
On this object, however, a message has been spelled-out right on top of the design, the pattern becoming a mere backdrop. A fairly standard arrangement of Rococo-inspired scrolls was printed with a broadside advertising a performance. Done in mellow ochres and reds, the wallpaper pattern adds visual interest to the poster without obscuring the text, which is printed in one of those great, old-timey Wild West fonts.
MORE INFORMATION: http://www.cooperhewitt.org/2016/05/03/rip-van-wallpaper/