1956-42-101 lo res
New Jersey Nouveau
In 1905, the same year that influential architectural theorist Adolf Loos sounded the modernist rallying cry against ornamentation, a small-town New Jersey designer named Albert Ainsworth decided he was going to go ahead and design a highly ornamental, floral wallpaper anyway. Floppy, mustard-yellow poppies grow from spindly fronds of the same color. A muted, green...
1991-89-107 lo res
Happy Hour
The maker and designer of this 1950s American wallpaper are unknown, but that doesn’t stop it from being awesome. Pineapples, chickens and coffee pots mingle happily with martini glasses, menus and big tuna fish. An assertive group of cherries, lemons and limes reoccur frequently, and a self-satisfied sea lion balances a cocktail on his nose....
1991-89-145 lo res
Scenic Wallpaper and the City
The rapid industrialization and urbanization that occurred in the United States during the mid-20th century made many Americans feel nostalgic for a more bucolic way of life. Landscape wallpaper was a cheap and easy way for people to bring a bit of country living to the city. Equally eager for glimpses of nature were the...
Meet the Staff: James Reyes
Can you explain the type of work you do with the Cooper Hewitt? I support School & Tour and Professional Development programs, each of which encompasses a few programs. For Professional Development, I work on technology with Arts Achieve, the multi-partner i3 grant that brings iPad technology to NYC arts classrooms. I also worked on...
1997-16-2 lo res
Like Art for your Walls, in Repeat
Arguably the most iconic pattern to come out of the English sister-design team Collier Campbell, Cote d’Azur has become popular the world over. Originally intended for textiles, the pattern won the Duke of Edinburgh’s Design Prize in 1984, making the sisters the first women to achieve the distinction. This incarnation is a slightly different colorway...
Weltformat festival poster. Sections resembling torn paper overlap with one another. Each section is printed in one of the following patterns: black with grey dots, blue rectangular stripes, and pink with maroon circle. In the bottom left corner, on a pink section, scrawled text reads: "Welt / format / plakat / festival / 12.-20.10.13 / Luzern!"
All Torn Up
When Swiss graphic designer Felix Pfäffli was asked to design a poster for the 2013 Weltformat Poster Festival held in Lucerne, he grappled with the “strange duplication” of creating a poster to promote a poster exhibition. He turned to the many posters hung on steel poster walls in the streets for his inspiration.  As posters...
A shirtless man sets fire to the monumental figures of the Church, the Tsar, and the Bourgeoisie. These figures in red, with features grotesquely abstracted, appear to be carved from stone. The man is naturalistically rendered by comparison. The title is printed in red Cyrillic on a yellow ground.
Toppling Monumental Foes
The huge figures dominating the composition of this Soviet poster stand as grotesque monuments to Russia’s imperial past. Labeled pedestals identify them as priest, tsar, and bourgeoisie—all cruel oppressors in the eyes of the new regime. Their rough-hewn faces crudely caricature the elegant, ostentatious sculptures of past tsars, and they tower over two naturalistically rendered...
Two earclips and a brooch, each in the form of an oak leaf with a gold stem and veining, filled with deep green and dark red plique-à-jour enamel. Earclips have plastic ear cushions. Attached to each piece by a green cord is a circular stamped lead seal with mark.
Early Autumn Leaves
An early September drive into New Hampshire took me out of my routine, away from my desk, and encouraged me to slow down and catch the transition from summer to autumn, something I’ve missed in recent years. The warm and intense autumn colors of New England foliage were a special treat, and come to mind as I study,...
Distressed ground resembles a black wall with flaking white paint. The paint flakes are designed like a map, depicting Ginza, Japan. The white dot represents the location of Ginza Graphic Gallery. Title of exhibition appears in black Helvetica text of varying sizes, stacked vertically.
Lovingly Crumpled
After a decade in mainstream advertising, Singaporean designer Theseus Chan founded the independent consulting firm WORK in 1997. Three years later, he created a sibling publication, Werk magazine. Frustrated by the aesthetic tedium and reserve he perceived at larger ad agencies, Chan used these new ventures to foster innovative design. With WORK, he has devised...