Design for an ewer featuring foliate scrolls and miniature nymphs
An Extravagant Ewer: Jean-Charles Delafosse’s Greek Style
This is a design for an ewer by the Parisian architect, designer, decorator and print maker, Jean-Charles Delafosse (1734-91). Delafosse engaged in diverse artistic productions producing urban planning proposals, architectural plans, furniture designs as well as drawings of ruin capriccios and allegorical and ornamental prints. His designs were widely circulated across France, England, and Germany...
Camera, Lytro, 2012
Living Images
Throughout the history of photography, advances in technology – from daguerreotype to digital photography – have continued to propel the field forward. The Lytro camera represents the first major shift in consumer photography since digital image capture was invented in 1975, and marks a significant turning point in photography’s history by offering users the possibility...
Dark violet poster featuring text in blue, oragne, and yellow. Text creates the outline of a man's silhouette. Text reads: "A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF THELONIOUS MONK. Freitag 5. September '86, 20.30 Uhr, Mohren. Jon Hendricks, George Adams, Bill Hardman, Walter Davis Jun., Stafford James, and Cliff Barbaro."
Blue Concert Posters
This poster, for a tribute concert to the music of Thelonious Monk at the Jazz Festival Willisau, can be categorized a few ways. It’s one of the 17 posters we have by Swiss graphic designer Niklaus Troxler (a Willisau native and jazz lover who first organized the jazz festival in 1975). It’s also one of the...
Oval tray with raised and everted rim. Decorated with outer border of interlaced triangular geometric motifs in lapis blue against brown background, surrounded by thin gold rims; then a border of tooled gilding with 16 roundels painted in polychrome of exotic birds, alternating with the smaller roundels with butterflies. Around central oval a wide band of trompe-l'oeil coffering. Center painted with arrangement of seashells, coral, and pearls against a faux marble background.
Like Father, Like Son
This oval tray represents the unique collaborative effort between Alexandre Brongniart, the director of Sèvres appointed in 1800, and his father, the designer Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart. The younger Brongniart’s passion for the natural world is reflected by the scientific precision of the biological species represented in finely painted enamel. Small roundels of exotic birds and butterflies...
Drawing of a fantasy landscape with flying boats
When Ships Fly
Ships, precariously tethered to mountain tops by garlands, hover over a landscape of pure fantasy in this graphite drawing by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808).  Pillement was known for his imaginative prints featuring chinoiserie designs that were in essence European variants of Japanese and Chinese motifs. Pillement was a prolific artist who operated in...
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Mirror, mirror on the wall; which is the bluest of them all?
Everyone has a favorite color, but how often are our conscious thoughts trained on those inclinations for various tints and hues? Our careless observation of the essentials of design was of paramount importance to Josef Albers, a German artist and color theorist whose lessons at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale focused on overcoming...
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Big Wave 2
Junichi Arai is one of the world’s foremost innovators in textile design. He was born in Kiryu, Japan, an important center for textile production with over 1,000 years of silk-making tradition. As the sixth generation of a mill-owning family, Arai learned at an early age the customary Japanese weaving techniques for obis and kimonos. However,...
Sanitary wallpaper with repeating design of a large ship at sea, framed within rolling waves and dolphins. Printed in blue and green on white ground.
Sailing Around the Bathroom
This design of tall ships surrounded by dolphins in a turbulent sea was first used as a cretonne design, or printed cotton fabric, produced by Steiner & Co. This was published in The Studio magazine in 1899. The design re-surfaced years later as this sanitary wallpaper. This is a classic pattern for a bathroom, a...
View of a masquerade in a fantastical hall
Let’s Dance!
Dancers in outrageous costumes and masks mingle in a lavish interior. This finished drawing likely depicts a Parisian vauxhall, which were public entertainment spaces, often set in, or near, pleasure gardens. They were first popularized in seventeenth-century England, and became fashionable in France in the late 1760s with the construction of the Colisée (The French...