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.

The Huguenot Legacy: English Silver, 1680-1760 from the Alan & Simone Hartman Collection

On View: Tuesday, April 27, 1999 to Sunday, August 8, 1999

More than one hundred examples of 17th and 18th century English silver are on display in this exhibition, including individual pieces, full settings, design drawings, and illustrated books of the period. The exhibition is divided into four sections: silver and the state; silver for tea, coffee and chocolate; silver for the dining table, and silver for the boudoir and the salon.

17th century, 18th century, england, silver, books, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350079

Graphic Design in the Mechanical Age: Selections from the Merrill C. Berman Collection

On View: Tuesday, February 9, 1999 to Sunday, May 23, 1999

This exhibition focuses on the intersection of art and mass media in the first part of the 20th century. A selection of 200 works selected the private Merrill C. Berman collection explores themes such as the avant-garde's impact on design and the the designer's changing role in relation to commerce, communication, and politics. The exhibition features magazine covers, book jackets, advertisements, graphic ephemera, and other objects by Man Ray, A. M. Cassandre, Leo Marfurt, Alexander Rodchenko, Kurt Schwitters. Theo van Doesburg, Vladimir and Georgii Steinberg, and Lester Beall.

graphic design, book cover design, ephemera, 20th century, exhibitions, Merrill C. Berman

Unlimited By Design

On View: Tuesday, November 17, 1998 to Sunday, March 21, 1999

On display are 150 examples of “universal design,” appropriate for people of all ages, ability and mobility. The exhibition is divided into rooms that reflect the routines of daily life: kitchen, bathroom, home office, living room, and playground.

Curated by Bruce Hannah, an internationally-recognized industrial designer, and George Covington, a universal design advocate.

Industrial Design, universal design, exhibitions

The Architecture of Reassurance: Designing the Disney Theme Parks

On View: Tuesday, October 6, 1998 to Sunday, January 10, 1999

Approximately 200 artifacts reveal the methods of Disney's design team and trace the history of the parks from original concepts to present day developments. Many never-seen-before plans, renderings, posters, paintings, and models from the extensive archives of Walt Disney Imagineering are on view.

This traveling exhibition was curated by Karal Ann Marling and organized by the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. Sponsored by Target Stores.

Walt Disney, theme parks, architectural drawings, models, traveling exhibitions

Concerned Theatre Japan: The Graphic Art of Japanese Theatre: 1960-1980

On View: Wednesday, June 24, 1998 to Saturday, August 22, 1998

Explore the modern Japanese theater movement as well as the development of Japan's postwar cultural identity through the design of theater posters.

This exhibition is co-sponsored by Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the AIGA.

Japan, theater, 20th century, theatrical design, costumes, graphic design, posters, traveling exhibitions

Under the Sun: An Outdoor Exhibition of Light

On View: Sunday, June 21, 1998 to Sunday, November 15, 1998

Follow the successful efforts to harness the sun’s power for home and industry, beginning in 1830 with the work of Edmund Becquerel, who discovered that photovoltaic cells had the power to convert sunlight to electricity. Objects include a tent covered in thin-film photovoltaic panels, a solar-powered decorative fountain, a solar cooker, a prototype for a solar-powered laptop, and a sundial with twelve chairs, each of which provides enough light to read by at night. 

Organized by Lucy Fellowes. Sponsored by BP Solar and the United States Department of Energy. 

sustainable design, solar power, environmentally-friendly, Installations, Architecture, Industrial Design, exhibitions

Fountains: Splash and Spectacle

On View: Tuesday, June 9, 1998 to Sunday, October 11, 1998

This exhibition celebrations fountains— as urban oases, refreshments, spectacles, and landmarks. Drawings, prints, photographs, and video present fountains from 17th century Rome and 18th century Versailles to modern fountains such as the civil rights memorial and works by Philip Johnson and Isamu Noguchi.

fountains, water, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350235

Opening Our Doors: Selections from the Design Resource Center

On View: Thursday, June 4, 1998 to Sunday, August 30, 1998

A grand display showcasing the Museum's permanent collection as well as treasures from the Museum's Library. The exhibition also includes recent acquisitions, and is organized by curatorial department.

permanent colleciton, Naitonal Design Library, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350853

Arquitectonica: The Times Square Project

On View: Tuesday, February 17, 1998 to Sunday, May 10, 1998

The 45-story hotel at the northeast corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, constructed as part of the Times Square urban renewal project, was designed by the Miami-based architecture firm, Arquitectonica. On view in this exhibition are drawings, photographs, and a working model of the hotel complex. 

Curated by Stephen Van Dyk, Chief Librarian at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Library. This exhibition was made possible through the support of the Smithsonian Institute’s Latino Initiative Fund.

The Jewels of Lalique

On View: Tuesday, February 3, 1998 to Sunday, April 12, 1998

Some 200 rare pieces of art nouveau jewelry and works in glass created before World War I by Rene Lalique (1860-1945) are on view. Lalique's work first gained renown in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris and his jewelry was worn by stars and royalty, including Queen Victoria and Sarah Bernhardt. This exhibition features many rarely-seen pieces and sketches from museums and private collections.

This traveling exhibition was organized by Yvonne Brunhammer, curator at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Art Nouveau, jewelry, Glass, Rene Lalique, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350845