1992-110-4
The Happy Cow
The Happy Cow is a children’s wallpaper designed by the celebrated German artist, Otmar Alt, for the “Xartwall” collection of wallpapers produced by Marburger Tapentenfabrik in the 1970s. The paper features a goofy cow made up of amorphous, puzzle-like blocks of bold primary colors. She floats atop a pink polka dotted background that looks like...
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Party Animals
To continue the festivities of the New Year’s celebration, or possibly a little hair of the dog, I thought it appropriate to show a cocktail paper. Prohibition was enacted in 1920 with the ratification of the 18th Amendment and was officially repealed on December 5, 1933 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. So we have President Roosevelt...
Straight-sided, tapering circular cup (a) with glazed decoration consisting of series of narrow black vertical wedges on white ground; black along edge of rim; white loop handle and white interior. Circular saucer (b) with upraised rim and same tapering black decoration on white ground; black at rim; white underside.
Embracing Design’s Wild Side
In calculated contrast, sharp black wedges streak mathematically across a white ground. The black and white stripes that line Eugen Trost’s Zebra cup and saucer accentuate its tapered, circular form just as cleanly as they denote the wild zebra, from which it takes its name. These stripes, however, are hand painted. The Gefle Porcelinsfabrik in...
1991-89-109
No Girls Allowed
Cowboys and Indians – that quintessential childhood game of midcentury suburbia – is here turned into a wallpaper destined for the rooms of young boys learning how to adhere to the famously rigid gender roles of the 1950s. Three little vignettes are machine printed in shades of yellow, green, red, brown and blue on a...
Fan design with a landscape filled with Italian ruins
Putting the Fan in Fantasy
From the eighteenth century, painted fans were one of the most popular souvenirs for any grand tourist visiting Italy. In this period, fans were part of the complex network of courtly behavior and aristocratic social codes, and they were also indispensable elements for coquetry. Such fans were made with a variety of materials such as...
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Salome
Entitled “Salome,” this unusual wallcovering was manufactured c.1967 by Bob Mitchell Designs and the pattern was created by the man himself. The design was much appreciated when it was originally produced, and was featured in a collection of the best of California Design curated by the Pasadena Art Museum in 1968. The pop-art inspired floral...
Textile, "Vegetable Tree", designed 1944; this printing 1981 
Medium: linen Technique: screen printed on plain weave Label: screen printed linen. 1982-60-1.
Manufactured by Svenskt Tenn Designed by Josef Frank, 1982-60-1
Chart topping objects in 2014
It is the end of another year and there’s been many changes at Cooper Hewitt. We’ve installed new galleries and one part of the new infrastructure are new interactive experiences through which to explore our collection as it gets digitized. As collections become available through these new interfaces, the objects that people explore or want...
View of a man wearing a turban
Heads up!
This study by the prolific French artist, François Boucher, offers a rich insight into the practice of collecting drawings in eighteenth-century France. The head of the turbaned man is sketched with black and red chalk, with the white of the paper used as a third shade. The sheet features the annotation, “Boucher” in the lower right...
Ceiling-hung light, the segmented artichoke-like form with copper leaves supported on metal framework.
What Lies Beneath The Artichoke?
Poul Henningsen’s childhood was illuminated by the glow of gas lamps. When electricity arrived in his small Danish hometown and left his neighbor’s windows ablaze with the stark glare of electric light bulbs, Henningsen began to grapple with a design quandary that would come to define his entire career. He was determined to calm the...