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.

Kitsch to Corbusier: Wallpaper from the 1950s

On View: Tuesday, April 11, 1995 to Sunday, August 20, 1995

These selections from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent collection reflect postwar American interest in modern art, European travel, teen culture, suburbia, technology, and science. Designs by Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, Le Corbusier and Saul Steinberg are included.

wallcoverings, 20th century, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349721

Body Language: Jewelry and Accessories at the National Design Museum

On View: Tuesday, March 14, 1995 to Sunday, August 20, 1995

Two hundred pieces, dating from 1,000 BC to the present, trace the evolving relationship between jewelry and the human body. Examples of jewelry worn for protection, symbolism, status, and adornment are on display from the Museum's permanent collection.

jewelry, accessories, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349429

Elaine Lustig Cohen, Modern Graphic Designer

On View: Tuesday, February 7, 1995 to Thursday, March 23, 1995

Elaine Lustig Cohen was one of the few high-profile female graphic designers of the 1950s and 1960s. She successfully integrated European modernism into American printed media, using geometric symbols and abstract structural elements from modern painting, architecture, and typography. Cohen did work for Meridian Books General Motors, the Jewish Museum, the Whitney Museum of Art, and Rio de Janeiro's Museum of Modern Art. She also worked with architects, including Philip Johnson, Richard Meier, and Eero Saarinen, to design interiors, signage, and printed materials.

Elaine Lustig Cohen, graphic design, modernism, 20th century, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350061

Good Offices and Beyond: A Laboratory of Seating

On View: Sunday, October 9, 1994 to Sunday, March 19, 1995

This exhibition provides Museum visitors an opportunity to try a broad selection of office seating.

Chairs in the exhibition were generously provided by Haworth, Herman Miller, ICF, Knoll, Steelcase, Unifor, United Chair, Vitra, and Wilkhahn.

chairs, office furniture, exhibitions

Good Offices and Beyond: The Evolution of the Workplace

On View: Tuesday, October 4, 1994 to Sunday, February 26, 1995

An exhibition of historical and contemporary office equipment is devoted to the objects designed to help communicate ideas, organize time, and record information, from the manual typewriter to the modern personal digital assistant.

Industrial Design, product design, office design, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350071

The Structure of Style: Dutch Modernism in the Applied Arts 1880-1930

On View: Tuesday, September 13, 1994 to Sunday, August 20, 1995

This exhibition presents Dutch modernist design from the Museum's permanent collection. Metalwork, ceramics, glass, furniture, graphics, textiles, wallpapers, jewelry, and lighting produced between 1880 and 1930 are on view. Much of the collection on exhibit was donated by Justin G. Schiller.

Dutch design, Holland, Netherlands, modernism, permanent collection, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350069

An Introduction to the Andrew Carnegie Mansion

On View: Tuesday, August 16, 1994 to Sunday, August 20, 1995

An introduction to the house the Carnegie family called home. In 1902, Andrew Carnegie, his wife, Louise, their daughter, Margaret, and a staff of 19 servants moved into the 64 room mansion designed by the architects Babb, Cook and Willard in the style of an English country manor house. Carnegie’s wealth and philanthropy are famous, and his love of learning was incomparable. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum stands as a memorial to his aspirations for society.

Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie mansion, Architecture, exhibitions

Angles of Repose: A Garden Exhibition of Central Park Benches

On View: Tuesday, June 14, 1994 to Saturday, October 1, 1994

Seven types of benches used in Central Park from its opening to the present time are on display in the Museum's Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden. The benches, each with its own history, invite the visitor to sit down, relax, and take in the beautiful garden surroundings.

Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, furniture, outdoor, seating, Central Park, benches, exhibitions

A Royal Gift: The 1826 Porcelain Jewel Cabinet

On View: Tuesday, May 17, 1994 to Sunday, January 22, 1995

This cabinet was a royal gift of state given by Charles X of France to Francis I, King of the Two Sicilies in 1830. Six feet high, made of mahogany and fitted with painted plaques, the cabinet was created under the supervision of Alexandre Brongniart, director of the Royal Porcelain Factory of Sèvres. Original sketches and drawings are on display which show the process of the cabinet’s design, as well as wallpapers and textiles that might have been used to decorate the room in which the cabinet was kept. 

furniture, 19th century, France, cabinet, permanent collection, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350055

Redesigning Cooper-Hewitt: Drawings by Polshek & Partners Architects

On View: Tuesday, April 5, 1994 to Saturday, October 1, 1994

A display of architectural floor plans, renderings, and illustrations of the renovations for the Mansion and houses designed by James Polshek and Partners. The first phase of the renovation updated the ground floor galleries, and the second phase includes the opening of a design resource center, which scheduled to be completed in time for the Museum’s Centennial Celebration in the fall of 1997.

renovation, Architecture, architectural drawings, Carnegie mansion, exhibitions