Author: Rebecca McNamara

Band of tightly braided brown human hair hinged with gold mounts to oval framed decoration of pearls, pailettes, hair and the initials MAS in form of horn-of-plenty
Precious Jewelry of Hair: A Brooch and Bracelet Set for Mourning
In the genteel Victorian parlor, fashionable women participated in various leisurely pursuits, like making needlework and playing musical instruments. In what today is a more unusual activity, women transformed the hair of a loved one—either deceased or living—into a picture to be hung on the wall or into a piece of jewelry to be worn....
Heart-shaped lasercut Valentine's day card
The Valentine as Art
A valentine from graphic designer Marian Bantjes is more than just a valentine—it is an artwork, to be cherished and displayed year-round. These unique cards are coveted by design enthusiasts; by lovers of ornament, who believe that at least sometimes, more is more; by the curious, the whimsical, and those who, like Bantjes, wonder. Each...
Upright vacuum cleaner: metalic gray, yellow, and clear housing leading up to handle, with cavities for tools (brushes, tubes); front dominated by motor and collection bin assembly of yellow and clear plastic; at bottom, wide, low cleaning head with brush in front, two wheels in back, yellow at joints and adjustment points.
James Dyson: Designing Out Annoyances
For many of us, a glance at everyday appliances elicits a wince or a groan: they’re dull looking, break easily and frequently, and never work quite as well as we’d like. Our lives are full of minor annoyances that we try, often unsuccessfully, to ignore. But when James Dyson is annoyed by an appliance, he...
BOX, 1902–05. Silver-plated brass. Designed by Koloman Moser.
Branded in Early Twentieth-Century Vienna
Today’s luxury designers sometimes find unique ways to brand their products without a label—Christian Louboutin’s red sole, Bottega Veneta’s woven purse—while others create logo-patterns, as Louis Vuitton has done. Many mid-range product lines, like those of Apple or Starbucks, proclaim their name loudly with simple, meaningful logos. While it may seem that logos and brand...
Print, Elevation of Townhouse, 211 East 48th Street, New York, NY, 1933
William Lescaze’s Townhouse Blueprint: Creating a New Look for New York Residences
This blueprint in the Cooper-Hewitt collection depicts architect William Lescaze’s radical and trendsetting four-story townhouse at 211 East 48th Street, New York. Little, if any, changes were made between this design—or between a sketch, also in the museum’s collection—and the final structure, built in 1933–34. Lescaze’s townhouse, which he used as his home and office,...
Long metal garland of silver-plated photographically etched stainless steel flowers to be massed and wrapped around a light bulb.
A Metal Lace Chandelier: Tord Boontje’s Modern Twist on Centuries-Ago Style
The chandelier reinvented. The lightbulb redecorated. Stainless steel brought to life. Moving patterns stopped in motion. Through his work, Tord Boontje aims to celebrate ornament in design. When creating the Wednesday light, Garland’s predecessor, he looked to the romantic design aesthetic of the 17th and 18th centuries. (Wednesday was a stainless-steel piece self-produced by Boontje...