Exhibitions Archive

This archive includes past Cooper-Hewitt exhibitions dating back to 1975. Earlier exhibitions, including those set as early as the 1930s when the Museum was the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration, are being compiled and will be added at a future date. The Museum is currently closed for renovation, scheduled to re-open in 2014.

Past exhibitions can also be explored online through exhibition catalogs and related publications in our collection of historical publications.

A Century of Ceramics in the United States: 1878-1978

On View: Tuesday, February 26, 1980 to Sunday, May 25, 1980

A comprehensive view of American ceramics, from the days of pioneers to the work of leading ceramists in the 20th century. Nearly 250 objects are on display by more than 100 artists.

Organized by the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse.

American, ceramics. exhibitions


On View: Tuesday, January 29, 1980 to Sunday, March 30, 1980

This exhibition showcases tiles from the 13th through the 20th century, from a variety of countries and cultures including Persia, Islamic Spain, and the Netherlands. The majority of tiles are from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent ceramic collection, with a portion of the objects on loan from other private and public collections. Many tiles will be displayed to the public for the first time.

tiles, ceramics, patterns, exhibitions, spain, Netherlands, Persia

The Oceanliner: Speed, Style, Symbol

On View: Tuesday, January 22, 1980 to Saturday, April 5, 1980

This exhibition provides a nostalgic view of luxury ships through plans, cutaways, furnishings, paper memorabilia, and souvenirs.

travel, tourism, transportation, ships, exhibitions

The Cooper-Hewitt Collection: Furniture

On View: Tuesday, December 4, 1979 to Sunday, February 3, 1980

This exhibition showcases furniture from the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Examples range from 17th-century England and 18th-century designs by Michelangelo Pergolesi to 20th-century pieces by Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Eames, and Marcel Breuer.

furniture design, furniture, craftsmanship, exhibitions, permanent collection, ch:exhibition=35349929


On View: Tuesday, September 11, 1979 to Sunday, January 6, 1980

The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum complex, with 12 museums, the National Zoo and more than 70 million objects and specimens in its collections. This exhibition brings together representative objects from each of the collections into one space.

Smithsonian Institution, permanent collection, exhibitions

The Cooper-Hewitt Collection: Glass

On View: Tuesday, August 28, 1979 to Sunday, November 25, 1979

These pieces from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent collection depict innovations in glass design and fabrication through the centuries—from some of the earliest Roman-Syrian glass made in the first to the fourth centuries AD to the thin-walled glass produced by the Lobmeyr factory in Vienna in the 20th century. 

Glass, decorative arts, permanent collection, ch:exhibition=35350475

Alvar Aalto: 1898–1976

On View: Tuesday, June 12, 1979 to Sunday, September 16, 1979

This retrospective of the work of the major Finnish architect features photographs, original drawings, architectural models, furniture, and glassware.

Organized by the Finnish Museum of Architecture.

Alvar Aalto, Finland, Architecture, architectural drawings, models, photographs, furniture, glassware, traveling exhibitions

Fantastic Illustration and Design in Britain, 1850–1930

On View: Tuesday, June 12, 1979 to Sunday, September 2, 1979

An exhibition of illustrated fairies, folk tales, animals, and phantasmagoric scenes as primarily rendered in original drawings, with a selection of books, furniture, ceramics, and other items of decorative art. Some of the artists whose imaginations are on display include Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, Edmund Dulac, Kate Greenaway, Edward Lear, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Beatrtix Potter, Arthur Rackham, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ernest Howard Shepard, and Sir John Tenniel. 

illustration, animals, illustrated books, furniture, ceramics, decorative objects, Britain, traveling exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349967

Roma Interrotta

On View: Tuesday, June 12, 1979 to Sunday, August 12, 1979

Twelve contemporary architects reimagine Rome, based on Giambattista Nolli's 18th-century urban plan. This exhibition includes the work of Piero Sartogo, Costantino Dardi, Antoine Grumbach, James Stirling, Paolo Portoghesi, Romaldo Giurgola, Robert Venturi, Colin Rowe, Michael Graves, Leon Krier, Aldo Ross, and Robert Krier.

Rome, Architecture, MAPS, urban planning, traveling exhibitions

Immovable Objects: Urban Open Spaces

On View: Friday, June 1, 1979 to Thursday, August 30, 1979

A celebration of outdoor public places organized as part of our ongoing study of the urban environment. Ten on-site exhibitions explore the city as museum and laboratory: Parks, Plazas, Playgrounds, Recreation Areas, The Street, Public Furniture and Graphics, Pedestrian Malls, Waterfronts, Open Spaces in New Towns, and Conceptual Open Spaces. 

New York City, open space, parks, urban planning, Urbanism, exhibitions