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Trellis by William Morris
William Morris wallpapers are quite extraordinary on several counts. Morris designs are all quite striking, even the patterns printed in a single color. Morris started designing wallpapers in the 1860s and most of these patterns are still being produced today. That says a lot about the appeal of his designs. Cooper Hewitt collection contains most,...
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Cute Crops
A cob of dizzyingly technicolored corn shoots to the top of Felice Rix-Ueno’s textile design Feldfruchte: Steel with Indigo and Brown.  Sheaves of wheat and grains float around the bright maize.  As summer draws to a close, few foods resonate more than corn, sweet and sun-ripened in the hazy days of August. Rix-Ueno’s title draws...
Prototype for a table runner, 2014, USA, designed by Sandy Chilewich, (American, b. 1951), vinyl and acrylic double cloth, Gift of Sandy Chilewich, 2015-22-1.
A Runner’s Glow
Sandy Chilewich has been the creative mind behind the vinyl tabletop industry she popularized with her eponymous line in 2000. She has said that she always had a passion for repurposing manufacturing processes and finding new applications for materials that have been underutilized. Most recently she saw an experimental fabric being manufactured at the weaving...
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Checkmate for the State
Take one look at these chess pieces and you’ll notice that they are not your typical roundup of pawns, knights, and rooks. These exquisitely hand-painted figures have distinct personalities and the subsets on either side are the board have decidedly opposite characterizations. Among the red pieces, representing the Communists, the harvester pawns assume prepared positions....
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Hanging Floral Baskets You Don’t Need to Water
I find these hanging baskets rather a novel idea in home decoration. These are used in place of the wide friezes that became popular in the very late years of the nineteenth century. Wide friezes were printed on the paper in a horizontal fashion, which makes perfect sense as that is how they were hung....
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Crossing The Line
This 2010 poster, designed by the French graphic designer Philippe Apeloig, advertises the annual interdisciplinary fall festival of the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in New York City. Apeloig’s design employs the same fundamental typographic approach that he used in his 2006 poster, Vivo in Typo, whereby he manipulates the spacing of computer-generated punctuation to...
Color blanket, 2014, designed by Paul Maute (German, 1897–1982), produced by Knoll Textiles (USA), manufactured in Scotland, wool and rayon plain weave, Gift of Knoll Textiles, 2015-30-10
Cato’s Appeal
Knoll introduced Cato in 1961 and it has been in continuous production ever since, making it one of the most successful designs the company ever produced. It was designed and woven by Paul Maute, a German designer/weaver whose contributions to Knoll Textiles were both influential and lasting. In 1927, Maute established his weaving workshop in...
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The New Bauhaus
This rare catalog details the curriculum, philosophy, faculty, and objectives of the School of Design in Chicago in the early 1940s. It is essentially a promotional guide geared to perspective students. The New Bauhaus, as the institution was called, was created as an industrial design school by Hungarian born Bauhaus masters László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) and...
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Murals Not to be Missed
One of the benefits of the museum’s ongoing digitization is that I get to revisit many collection objects I haven’t seen for a while, without ever leaving my desk. Case in point is this sample book of wallpaper photo murals. Produced in 1976 the book contains twenty different designs that include a variety of exotic...