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.

Packaging the New: Design and the American Consumer, 1925-1975

On View: Tuesday, February 8, 1994 to Sunday, August 14, 1994

More than 200 objects including drawings, products, packaging, and advertising trace the history of "the new.” Works by industrial designers Donald Deskey, Walter Dorwin Teague, Raymond Loewy, and Henry Dreyfuss are on display, as well as a recreation of a 1928 Saks Fifth Avenue window, a 1950s supermarket, and a 1960s Formica kitchen. A “Hall of Obsolescence” features a series of toasters that consumers purchased and re-purchased annually, despite only minor, superficial style "improvements."  

20th century, Industrial Design, housewares, Donald Deskey, Walter Dorwin Teague, Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss, consumerism, product design, exhibitions, packaging, advertising, ch:exhibition=35349859

Toward Modern Design: Revival & Reform in Applied Arts 1850-1920

On View: Monday, September 27, 1993 to Tuesday, June 14, 1994

More than 50 examples of furniture, ceramics, glass, silver, jewelry, brass, and graphics produced between 1850 and 1920 are on display from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent collection. Works by William de Morgan, Émile Gallé, and Tiffany are on view, as well as a glass flask by James Powell & Sons, a painted glass vase by Richard Redgrave, a restored cabinet by Carlo Bugatti and furniture by Hector Guimard.

furniture, ceramics, Glass, silver, jewelry, graphics, 19th century, 20th century, permanent collection, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349663

Mechanical Brides: Women and Machines from Home to Office

On View: Tuesday, August 17, 1993 to Sunday, January 2, 1994

This exhibition takes a critical look at the household and office objects marketed to and used by women, including telephones, typewriters, desks, washing machines, vacuums, and irons are displayed. Oral histories, advertisements, photographs, and film stills contribute to the narrative.

women, housewares, Industrial Design, product design, consumerism, advertising, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350043

Recent Acquisitions: Textile Selection

On View: Thursday, July 1, 1993 to Sunday, September 26, 1993

Featured objects include Monuments of Indiana designed by American Paul Riba, and contemporary screen-printed fabrics by the Swiss firm Création Baumann.

recent acquisitions, textiles, textile design, textile printing, permanent collection, exhibitions

Tools for the Table: Designs for Dining

On View: Tuesday, May 4, 1993 to Sunday, September 26, 1993

French, British, and American porcelain, earthenware, silver, silver-plate, glass, and plastic tableware from the early 18th century to the modern day are on display. The exhibition shows how utensils and dining customs have changed over the centuries.

utensils, dining, customs, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349767

Design and Fabric Technology: Pushing the Limits

On View: Tuesday, May 4, 1993 to Sunday, September 26, 1993

This exhibition spotlights designs that resulted from major international collaborations between textile designers and fabric producers—collaborations that combine art and technology to push beyond the limitations normally imposed by the commercial market. Objects include screen-printed textiles created by the Netherlands-based designer, Ulf Moritz, who joined Dutch producer De Ploeg and the German firm Taurus, as well as whimsical Jacquard woven fabrics produced by American textile artists Patricia Kinsella and Sheila O’Hara, who were sponsored by the German company&n

textiles, textile design, textile printing, knitting, technology, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350051

Collecting A to Z: Recent Acquisitions

On View: Tuesday, April 27, 1993 to Sunday, September 26, 1993

An alphabetically-arranged exhibition of recent acquisitions. "A is for Architecture" features three studies by architect Aldo Rossi for Euro Disney. "H is for Humor" includes industrial designer Constantin Boym’s Mona Lisa clock. “U is for Universal Design” showcases kitchen tools designed by the New York firm, Smart Design. 

recent acquisitions, permanent collection, textiles, Industrial Design, product design, Architecture, furniture, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349787

Design Process: Cheryl R. Riley

On View: Friday, April 23, 1993 to Sunday, September 12, 1993

A solo exhibition of furniture design by Cheryl R. Riley, the founder and principal designer of Right Angle Interiors in San Francisco. Many of her design commissions are on display, such as work for the San Francisco Bayview Police Station and a pair of coin-encrusted Tudor Tables. Riley is deeply influenced by her African-American heritage, which is reflected in her choices of material and form. Riley's work is now a part of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s African-American Design Archives.

furniture, American, African-American, women and design, tables, exhibitions, permanent collection

Czech Cubism: Architecture and Design

On View: Tuesday, April 6, 1993 to Sunday, July 25, 1993

An exploration of Prague's vibrant Cubism movement, which thrived between 1910 and 1925. The majority of the furniture, architectural renderings, ceramics, and metalwork on display are on loan from the Museum of Decorative Arts and the National Technical Museum, both in Prague.

This traveling exhibition was organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil-am-Rhein in collaboration with Prague's Museum of Decorative Arts and its National Technical Museum.

Cubism, Prague, Czech, 20th century, furniture, ceramics, Architecture, architectural drawings, metalwork, traveling exhibitions

A Memorial to Jan Palach

On View: Tuesday, April 6, 1993 to Saturday, September 25, 1993

An exhibition dedicated to the memorial designed by Czech architect John Hejduk for the Czech philosophy student, Jan Palach, who committed suicide in 1969 in protest to the Czech government’s repression of the Prague Spring. Scale models of the House of the Suicide and House of the Mother of the Suicide are on display, along with the poem that inspired Hejduk, David Shapiro’s The Funeral of Jan Palach.

Czech, john hejduk, Prague Spring, memorial, models, exhibitions