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.

Doodle 4 Google: What I Wish for the World

On View: Thursday, May 21, 2009 to Sunday, July 5, 2009

Doodle 4 Google: What I Wish for the World presents 39 designs selected among tens of thousands of entries submitted by K–12 students from all 50 states in Google's annual "Doodle 4 Google" design competition. Inspired by the theme "What I Wish for the World," children from across the United States were challenged to think like designers and utilize Google's iconic logo as a springboard to convey their message. The submissions represent a vast array of wishes, from environmental conservation to improvements in housing, health, and education.

doodle 4 google, exhibitions, K-12, students, logo design, Communication Design

Design for a Living World

On View: Thursday, May 14, 2009 to Monday, January 4, 2010

Ten leading designers have been commissioned to develop new uses for sustainably grown and harvested materials in order to tell a unique story about the life-cycle of materials and the power of conservation and design. On view will be the prototypes, drawings, and finished products created by the designers.

Design for a LIving World, exhibitions, Abbott Miller, Ellen Lupton, sustainable design, conservation, Nature Conservancy, materials

Shahzia Sikander Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection

On View: Friday, March 6, 2009 to Monday, September 7, 2009

Internationally acclaimed artist, Shahzia Sikander, will serve as the ninth guest curator of the Selects exhibition series in the Nancy and Edwin Marks Gallery, devoted to showing the museum’s permanent collection. Sikander will mine and interpret the museum’s collection and produce an installation of selected work.

Shahzia Sikander, exhibitions, permanent collection, selects, Pakistan, nancy and edwin marks gallery, ch:exhibition=35350959

Fashioning Felt

On View: Friday, March 6, 2009 to Monday, September 7, 2009

This exhibition will explore the varied new uses of felt—an ancient material produced by one of the earliest techniques for making textiles. The exhibition will begin with historic examples of felts, showcase innovations in handmade felts, and feature contemporary uses of industrial felt in a range of fields, including product design, fashion, architecture, and home furnishings. 

Fashioning Felt, felt, textiles, exhibitions, Susan Brown, textile design, product design, fashion design, Architecture, home furnishings, ch:exhibition=35350951

Wall Stories: Children's Wallpaper and Books

On View: Friday, October 3, 2008 to Sunday, April 5, 2009

This exhibition will explore the relationship between wallpapers and books created for children through works from the permanent collection and the National Design Library. From their beginning in the 1870s, children's wallpapers have been strongly influenced by literature and popular culture. 

Wall Stories, Wall Stories: Children’s Wallpaper and Books, National Design Library, exhibitions, wallpaper, permanent collection, pop-up books, children's books

Solos: Tulou/Affordable Housing for China

On View: Friday, October 3, 2008 to Sunday, April 5, 2009

In the fifth installment of the Solos series, the museum will present Tulou, a prototype for affordable housing being built in the city of Guangzhou by the Chinese architectural practice Urbanus. The Tulou project incorporates 245 apartment units, a dormitory, a small hotel, shops, a gymnasium, a library, and various communal and public spaces. 

Tulou, Guangzhou, China, Urbanus, exhibitions, Solos, Architecture, affordable housing

Curators Select: Recent Acquisitions, 2003–2008

On View: Friday, September 12, 2008 to Sunday, February 15, 2009

This exhibition will feature recent acquisitions to all four of the museum's collecting departments: Product Design and Decorative Arts; Drawings, Prints and Graphic Design; Textiles; and Wallcoverings.

curators select, recent acquisitions, permanent collection, exhibitions, product design, decorative arts, drawings, prints, graphic design, textiles, wallcoverings, ch:exhibition=35350961

House Proud: 19th century Watercolor Interiors from the Thaw Collection

On View: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 to Sunday, January 25, 2009

This exhibition showcases Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw’s collection of 19th-century watercolor drawings, which meticulously detail the era’s interior furnishings and document the social, cultural, and aesthetic development of European domestic life. The collection includes examples of English, German, Russian, French, Italian, and Austrian domestic spaces. 

19th century, watercolors, interiors, ch:exhibition=35350943


On View: Saturday, May 17, 2008 to Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In a special two-week presentation, Cooper-Hewitt will host GlassLab, an innovative program of The Corning Museum of Glass that pairs its master glassmakers with some of the most creative minds working in design today.

GlassLab, Corning Museum of Glass, Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, contemporary design, glassmaking

Rococo: The Continuing Curve

On View: Friday, March 7, 2008 to Sunday, July 6, 2008

In March 2008, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will present Rococo: The Continuing Curve, 1730–2008, a groundbreaking exhibition that fully explores rococo style and its continuing revivals up to the present day in multiple fields, including furniture, decorative arts, textiles, prints, and drawings. 

Rococo: The Continuing Curve, exhibitions, rococo, furniture design, decorative arts, textiles, prints, drawings, sarah coffin, Ellen Lupton, gail davidson, Penelope Hunter-Stiebel, ch:exhibition=35350903