1998-9-1
A Pressing Matter
The O&N Mikro travel iron was made in Denmark, ca. 1950, and is a small but powerful example of the streamline design style that began in the 1930s and lasted well into the 1950s. Streamline embraced the development of new engineering capabilities, as well as new industrial materials and manufacturing techniques to create a sense...
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Harmonious Modularity
During the second World War, the French city of Le Havre was severely bombed. August Perret, a pioneering French modernist architect, was tasked with rebuilding the city. Perret’s reconstruction is considered exceptional for its seamless integration of the city’s extant historic structures with modern concrete construction and design innovations. Perret’s new buildings for Le Havre...
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Draping the Walls
Elinor Merrill was the pre-eminent New York dealer of antique European textiles and wallcoverings. A specialist in French textiles, Merrill served as a consultant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to the Art Institute of Chicago. She also assisted in the development of the collections of the Cooper Hewitt and the Winterthur museums. After...
1956-76-6-a_c
Re-framing Life
Architect-designer Hector Guimard earned recognition for his architectural optimism but garnered additional acclaim for his designs intended to occupy the spaces that he created. Working during the end of the nineteenth and early twenteieth centuries in the organic language of Art Nouveau, Guimard approached his designs as part of a larger artistic whole, a Gesamtkunstwerk,...
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Typographic Wonder
Canadian designer Marian Bantjes began her career as a typesetter before creating a personal style that combines type and ornament.  This distinctive aesthetic has allowed her to cross boundaries between fine arts and design, illustration and typography. This poster was produced to advertise the annual conference of the Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA). It was printed in...
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The Emperor’s Fantastic Clothes
This elaborate Rococo-revival wallpaper incorporates several different techniques. The print is an applied lithograph, the salmon-color framework is woodblock printed, and the gold is a stamped metal foil. The application of the stamped foil embosses the paper as the foil is being applied, creating a much richer and more reflective surface than a printed gold...
1987-55-1
Enlightening Experimentation
Jung-Hoo Kim, a Korean-born artist working in America, created Long Trip in 1986 for an exhibition at SUNY New Paltz called “Color in Context”. This necklace, composed of a plastic called ColorCore, sterling silver and rubber, is industrial in construction and playful in color and form. Kim’s necklace fits into the contemporary jewelers’ rhetoric, which...
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Enigmas in Restoration
French architect and theorist Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) spent more than half of his career restoring Gothic-era castles, cathedrals, and public buildings, including such notable projects as Notre Dame de Paris and the city walls of Carcassonne. Yet he’s often seen as a pre-modernist, influencing Henry van de Velde and even Frank Lloyd Wright. Viollet-le-Duc’s theories of...
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Would You Like a Drink with the Vacation?
After the dust had settled from WWII, people were ready to get back to (or experience for the first time) the good life that had been interrupted by decades of war and depression. These desires manifested quite literally on wallpapers, and during the 1950s there was a trend for designs depicting everything from household appliances...