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.

Crystal Palaces: The Buildings of the First World’s Fairs

On View: Tuesday, January 13, 1987 to Sunday, April 26, 1987

The exhibition displays a remarkable collection of photographs, prints, stereo views, and souvenir ephemera of the Crystal Palaces from the 1851 World's Fair in London and the 1853 World's Fair in New York. London’s Crystal Palace housed the “Great Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations;” New York's Crystal Palace, built in Bryant Park behind the New York Public Library, was destroyed by a fire just five years after its construction.

world's fairs, Architecture, prints, ephemera, London, New York City, 19th century, exhibitions

Recollections: A Decade of Collecting

On View: Tuesday, November 25, 1986 to Sunday, March 1, 1987

This exhibition marks the 10th anniversary of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum at the Andrew Carnegie Mansion. On view are acquisitions made between 1976 and 1986.

Carnegie mansion, permanent collection, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349979

Perspective: The Illusion of Space

On View: Tuesday, November 25, 1986 to Sunday, March 1, 1987

Sixty drawings, prints, rare books, wall papers, textiles, and porcelain show how artists and designers have represented three-dimensional subjects on two-dimensional surfaces to create the illusion of space.

perspective, drawings, prints, illustrated books, wall papers, textiles, porcelain exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349441

Berlin 1900–1933: Architecture and Design

On View: Monday, November 3, 1986 to Sunday, January 25, 1987

The architecture, industrial design, graphic design, and decorative arts of Berlin, created between 1900 and 1933, are on display. Objects include handmade silver, textiles, inexpensive colorful household ceramics, Peter Behrens's electrical appliances for Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG), Jugendstil glass, porcelain by Marguerite Friedlaender Wildenhain, tubular steel furniture by Marcel Breuer and Mart Stam, and architectural drawings by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Berlin, 20th century, Architecture, Industrial Design, graphic design, decorative arts, silver, textiles, ceramics, Porcelain, Glass, furniture, drawings, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350017

Milestones: 50 Years of Goods and Services

On View: Tuesday, September 23, 1986 to Sunday, January 4, 1987

A look at 50 ubiquitous consumer products and services that have transformed daily life in the 20th century. Refrigerators, washer/dryers, televisions, and videocassette recorders are among the items highlighted in seven household settings: a living room, laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, child’s bedroom, and garage.

20th century, Industrial Design, product design, housewares, exhibitions

Newcomb Pottery: An Enterprise for Southern Women, 1895-1940

On View: Tuesday, August 19, 1986 to Sunday, October 19, 1986

This exhibition traces the history of the ceramics produced by Newcomb College, in New Orleans, where young Southern women were trained for the art industry as professional artisans. More than 200 examples of Newcomb Pottery are on view. 

ceramics, pottery, American, New Orleans, women, Arts and Crafts, traveling exhibitions

Hollywood: Legend and Reality

On View: Tuesday, August 5, 1986 to Sunday, October 12, 1986

The history of Hollywood production design and as told through 450 images and objects. Sketches, costumes, storyboards, posters, lobby cards, miniatures, props, fan magazines, photographs, and film clips are on view, including Ray Bolger’s scarecrow costume from The Wizard of Oz, Sam’s piano from Casablanca, and the sled from Citizen Kane.

Hollywood, movies, films, production design, graphic design, posters, 20th century, traveling exhibitions

Embroidered Ship Portraits

On View: Tuesday, June 3, 1986 to Sunday, September 7, 1986

More than 50 examples of 19th-century hand-embroidered portraits of ships are on view. These intricate pieces were most often made by sailors during slow periods on long voyages using readily-available materials, such as sail cloth or trouser fabric.

Great Britain, ships, embroidery, needlework, 19th century, exhibitions

Treasures from Hungary: Gold and Silver from the 9th–19th Centuries

On View: Tuesday, May 20, 1986 to Sunday, August 10, 1986

A thousand years of Hungarian metalwork is on display. The exhibition features items from the Hungarian National Museum and the Esztergom Basilica.

Hungary, gold, silver, metalwork, decorative objects, jewelry, traveling exhibitions

Bon Voyage! Designs for Travel

On View: Tuesday, April 29, 1986 to Wednesday, July 16, 1986

This exhibition traces the history of travel accessories from the antiquities to the present. Among the objects on view are Herman Melville’s collapsible scales, a travel trunk for 30 pairs of shoes, Charles Dickens's portable inkwell, and a campaign desk built for Russia’s Czar Paul I.

Sponsored by Louis Vuitton.

travel, accessories, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349809