Octagonal shape with gold-banded edge. Heavily gilded, incised water plants in center, with space-filling floral and leaf forms of gold, with enamel color dots and smaller gold dots. Porcelain with blue underglaze decoration, overglaze enameling and gilding.
Nineteenth-Century Glitz in Greenpoint
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn was a hub for ceramic production and home to at least a dozen major firms. The beaches of the East River offered plentiful white sand and underdeveloped land near the shore accommodated the building of large factories. These firms produced a broad...
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Forest Patterns
Forest Patterns was designed by modernist painter Arnold Blanch for Associated American Artists in 1953. It was produced by United Wallpaper, Inc., one of the largest American wallpaper producers of the mid-twentieth century. Blanch renders the leaves as graphic deconstructions of botanical illustrations. The veins and stems of the leaves are drawn in straight black...
Drawing, 1931-73-304
To The Beat of Their Own Drum
John Rombola (b. 1933 ), a Brooklyn-born artist, has always marched to the beat of his own whimsical rhythm. And fittingly so, when radio station WPaT, which also moved to its own rhythm, commissioned Rombola to provide illustrations for its 1963 advertising campaign “In the Air Everywhere,” to be displayed in subway cars across New...
Sample card, fulled wool on paper, 1700-1775, France
Sample Card of French Woolens
Early in the eighteenth century, France was eager to imitate British success in exports of woolen textiles, especially to the Levant, an area roughly defined as a region of the eastern Mediterranean including Turkey and Egypt and points in between. By 1720, the French had vastly improved the quality of their woolens, and a system...
Heart shaped form, horizontally placed on three small feet. Circular openings in two lobes, with two inkwells, each with cover. Slight depression on top, at point. White ground with blue decoration of stylized flowers and foliage.
Love Letters
This delicate blue and white faience inkstand transports us back to a time in which letter writing was an integral part of daily communications. The inkstand was made in Rouen, an early center of production for French ceramics known as faience, which is tin-glazed earthenware. Between 1644 and the end of the eighteenth century, it is...
Horizontal building elevation built over a canal; building is held up by pillars; formed by arches and pediments, geometric shapes, glass.
Tangible Speculation and the Pleasure of Drawing
The architect Michael Graves, who died last week at the age of 80, was passionate and insistent about the importance of drawing in architectural practice. Over the course of his career, the use of computer-aided design software became ubiquitous among generations of architects, but Graves remained steadfast in his belief that drawing by hand was...
Print
Sophisticated Scribbles
Though Marburger Tapetenfabrik is among the oldest wallpaper manufacturers in Europe, in the 1950s they eschewed traditional patterns and became one of the many companies producing ‘contemporary’ designs meant to compliment the new, modern houses popping up all over Europe and America in the building booms following World War II. What, exactly, made wallpaper contemporary...
Textile, silk and metallic thread, 15th century, Spain
Spanish Lampas with Spotted Cats
This Spanish textile features confronted leopards or cheetahs within a geometric framework, an enduring motif that probably originated in early Islamic Egypt or Persia. Woven in the 15th century by Islamic weavers, this silk lampas may have been produced in Almería, a center of silk production in Andalucía and a source of blue and gold...
Ivory colored square-topped vanity table with black-lacquered lid, hinged at back, that opens to reveal mirror and two long lights; four tapered and stepped legs. Lacquered square-topped stool with tapered and stepped legs.
Bring Beauty Into Your Bathroom
Lurelle Guild was a prolific industrial designer, producing useful and beautiful objects that modernized the American home spanning from vacuum cleaners to canapé plates. Guild’s usual method was to invent or develop the new product, patent it, and then assign the patent to the manufacturer, charging a fee and royalties. In 1933 and 1934 he...