“… of course, it’s electric!”
“The Battle of the Centuries” was a dish washing contest between Mrs. Drudge and Mrs. Modern, between hand washing vs. electric dishwashers at the 1939/40 New York World’s Fair. This contest promoted all the benefits of modern appliances and is part of the history of new and improved technology in the modern age. The Cooper Hewitt Library...
The Beauty in Simplicity
The Austrian architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933) designed a set of drinking glasses in 1931 to be shown at the Exhibition of Interiors in Cologne.  His intention was to display to the public how an updated table setting should look.  Loos, who was known to have a simplified, rectangular and rectilinear design aesthetic chose the well-known...
Textile, ca. 1966, USA, hand-pulled strié ground, screen printed, on cotton plain weave, Gift of Seth Tillett and Nicole Rauscher, 2015-16-3
Bold Lace
Queen Anne’s Lace recalls the simple charm of a photogram, but it is technically multi-layered and complex. The brilliant red background is entirely hand-pulled with the drag-box. Slight overlapping of the bands of color creates pinstripes of darker red. The flowers are screen printed in opaque white ink, while a second screen of just the...
deskey light
Drumming Up A Streetlight
Despite the presence of over 300,000 streetlamps in at least 30 distinct designs, few of the millions who visit Manhattan’s bustling streets every year take note of these integral pieces of city life. The lights have not, however, completely escaped notice: this design drawing by Donald Deskey, one of the most influential Industrial Designers of his era, represents one of many...
A Landscape in 24 Movements
This panel is the fourteenth in a series of twenty-four panels that make up “El Dorado”, a scenic wallpaper produced by the French wallpaper company Zuber et Cie. It depicts four landscape views that represent the Four Continents: America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. America is represented by a view of the town of Córdoba in...
Infographic: Global Apparel and Textile Insights
Infographic: what you need to know about the fashion industry. In the past forty years, the scale and the geographical distribution of production of the textile, clothing and footwear industries have changed dramatically.
A Chair’s Nerves
A ubiquitous figure in design history, Josef Hoffmann had a career that spanned more than 50 years. The Austrian architect-designer created this chair for the dining room of the Purkersdorf Sanatorium, located just outside Vienna, and built between 1904 and 1906. Hoffmann designed both the sanatorium’s austere exterior and much of its interior. Hoffmann worked...
Basket of Blooms
Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (French, 1626-1699 ), a painter, designer and engraver, created many prints like this work, Plate 10 from Set of Flowers in a Basket which is dated to 1680. Early flower prints were primarily used for botanical textbooks, but by the end of the seventeenth century, they were considered a higher artistic medium. Prints like...
1951-2- Matt Flynn 017
Chinese Dragons
This wallpaper was one of the first produced by British wallpaper company Osborne and Little, founded in 1968 by designer Antony Little and businessman Sir Peter Osborne. The company was one of several that arose in the 1960s that promoted themselves as a source for unusual wallpaper patterns. Osborne and Little produced their designs in...