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.

Surprise! Surprise! Pop-up and Moveable Books

On View: Tuesday, October 27, 1987 to Sunday, February 21, 1988

This exhibition of pop-ups and other feats of paper engineering features books from the 15th century through the present day. Among the 75 books on display are examples of 16th-century scientific instruction, such as Johannis Schoneri's Opera Mathematica, printed in Germany in 1551. The exhibition is organized chronologically, leading up to the 1980s, an era in which the resurgence of interest in these moveable publications has been matched by sophisticated technological advances in production.

books, pop-up books, graphic design, Paper Engineering, printing, exhibitions

Honor and Glory: Triumphal Arches

On View: Tuesday, October 13, 1987 to Sunday, January 31, 1988

Drawings, prints, rare books, and photographs of arches dating from Roman times to the present are on display. Highlights include a series of etchings of Roman arches by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 17th-century drawings by Peter Paul Rubens, and Eero Saarinen’s 1947 drawing for the Gateway to the West in St. Louis. The Washington Square Arch in Washington Square Park, Manhattan, and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, are also featured.

drawings, prints, books, Architecture, architectural drawings, arches, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350187

Arches for Galveston

On View: Tuesday, October 13, 1987 to Sunday, January 31, 1988

An exhibition of seven arches designed by seven of America’s leading architects, all commissioned for the 1986 Mardi Gras in Galveston, Texas. The designs by Helmut John, Cesar Pelli, Stanley Tigerman, Eugene Aubry, Michael Graves, Charles Moore, and Boone Powell, represented through models and drawings, range from the serious to the fantastical. Also included in the exhibition is a large-scale model of an arch by Italian architect Aldo Rossi, designed for Galveston's 1988 Mardi Gras.

Architecture, architectural drawings, models, American, arches, exhibitions

Underground Images: Subway Posters from the School of Visual Arts

On View: Tuesday, July 28, 1987 to Sunday, November 8, 1987

Forty posters are on view from the School of Visual Arts, all of which have been displayed in the New York City subway system during the four decades of the school’s existence. The exhibition features works by illustrators Milton Glaser, Marshall Arisman, Robert Weaver, Art Spiegelman, and Jerry Moriarty.

posters, illustration, graphic design, School of Visual Arts, New York City, subway, exhibitions

Art Nouveau Bing: The Paris Style 1900

On View: Tuesday, July 21, 1987 to Sunday, October 11, 1987

An exhibition of 200 art nouveau works in tribute to Siegfried Bing, an entrepreneur and art connoisseur whose Paris gallery, "L'Art Nouveau," became synonymous with the new aesthetic vision he passionately promoted. On display are many of the pieces Bing sold or showed, including prints by Edvard Munch, furniture by Eugène Gaillard, textiles by Liberty of London, glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany, woodcuts by Félix Vallotton. L’Art Nouveau was only open from 1895 to 1904, but left an indelible mark on the art world.

prints, furniture, textiles, Tiffany glass, Siegfried Bing, woodcuts, Art Nouveau, France, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350179

Robert Adam and Kedleston: The Making of a Neo-Classical Masterpiece

On View: Tuesday, June 30, 1987 to Sunday, September 20, 1987

This exhibition of Robert Adam's working plans and architectural drawings for the expansive 18th-century English country estate, Kedleston Hall, showcases designs for the home's exterior and interior. The lavish mansion, located on 800 acres in Derbyshire, is one of the Scottish architect and designer's most-renowned works and belongs to the British National Trust.

Organized by the British National Trust with its American affiliate, the Royal Oak Foundation.

Robert Adam, england, 18th century, British National Trust, neoclassicism, Architecture, architectural drawings, exhibitions

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Johnson Wax Building: Creating a Corporate Cathedral

On View: Tuesday, June 9, 1987 to Sunday, October 18, 1987

Frank Lloyd Wright’s great concern for space and scale is explored in this exhibition on the Johnson Wax Headquarters Building in Racine, Wisconsin. More than 100 items are on display, including lithographs, scale models, murals, videotapes of Wright discussing his work, original drawing from Wright’s unpublished archives in Arizona, and correspondence between Wright and the company's president, Herbert F. Johnson. The building was constructed in the 1930s and was later designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architecture, architectural drawings, models, 20th century, American, traveling exhibitions

Louis Sullivan: The Function of Ornament

On View: Tuesday, March 24, 1987 to Monday, September 28, 1987

The more than 170 objects on display underscore the importance of Chicago-born architect, Louis Henry Sullivan (1856-1924), on American architecture. Sullivan saw aesthetic potential in the versatility of steel, and his accomplishments include the Wainwright Building in St. Louis and the Guaranty Buildings in Buffalo. The exhibition focuses on Sullivan's incorporation of ornament and modernism, and features models, photographs, and ornamental fragments, including a pencil sketch of a snowflake for an elevator panel.

Louis Sullivan, Architecture, drawings, American, 20th century, models, steel, ornament, traveling exhibitions

The Catalan Spirit: Gaudí and His Contemporaries

On View: Tuesday, February 17, 1987 to Tuesday, June 9, 1987

Works by Antoni Gaudí i Cornet and his contemporaries in the Catalan Modernisme movement are on display. In addition to Gaudí, the group included Elies Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, and Camil Oliveras i Gensana. The exhibition, which focuses the period between 1880 and 1920, includes drawings, furniture, tiles, metalwork, and glass, and features Gaudí's Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia and Domènech's Palace of Catalan Music.

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, spain, Barcelona, Catalan, Architecture, drawings, furniture, tiles, metalwork, Glass, exhibitions

Folding Fans from the Cooper-Hewitt Collection

On View: Tuesday, February 3, 1987 to Sunday, May 31, 1987

Fans and related design spanning the 17th through the 20th centuries are on display. There are fans with painted leaves, fans with printed leaves, and brisé fans, which have no leaves at all. A range of influences, from gothic revival to art nouveau and beyond, are reflected in fans designed for everyday use as well those reserved for special occasions, such as for weddings or mourning, and even those prodiced as souvenirs and advertising.

fans, exhibitions, fashion, costume accessories, ch:exhibition=35350111