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A Jazzy Print
Between 1925 and 1927, the Stehli Silks Corporation produced the Americana Prints, a series of nearly 100 artist-designed dress silks for the modern woman. American artists, designers, celebrities and cartoonists were selected to create the prints, among them photographer Edward Steichen and cartoonist John Held Jr., who produced the piece featured here. Taken together, the...
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Remembering Hiroshima
The week of August 6, 1945, United States armed forces dropped two atomic bombs on Japan; the first landed that Monday on Hiroshima, and another arrived three days later in Nagasaki. While the attacks seemingly worked in the allies’ favor, with Japan surrendering the following week, the fallout was devastating for the island nation–it is...
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Meet the Hewitts: Part Fourteen
Meet the Hewitts: Part 13 traveled abroad with Sarah and Eleanor. This month, we travel back to their country estate of Ringwood Manor to take another look at the residence’s guest books. In Meet the Hewitts: Part Five and Part Eight, Margery Masinter and Sue Shutte wonderfully describe the events and country life of Ringwood Manor,...
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Flight Patterns
Flight Patterns is a data visualization project from designer Aaron Koblin that traces domestic airline traffic during a single 24-hour period over North America. Flight paths, using datasets provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from 2005 and later from August 12, 2008, are rendered in color as arced trajectories. Koblin received flight locations every...
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A Sticky Woodgrain
Woodgrain or faux bois designs are another genre with a long running history in wallpaper design. There are examples in the collection that were hand painted, wood block printed, machine printed and lithograph printed. There are most likely digital versions as well but I don’t believe there is an example in the Cooper Hewitt collection,...
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Art Nouveau, all over the floor!
The Cooper Hewitt Library has a number of linoleum catalogs. Carpettes Linoleum is our newest, and to date, earliest one. This flooring trade catalog from Lancaster, England was printed for distribution to French consumers, who like many other European and American buyers, liked the durability, versatility, cleanliness, and the variety of designs available in linoleum...
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Keep Warm with a Smart Cap
This nightcap, dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, was made using a technique called crewel, a type of embroidery worked with wool yarn on linen. Since men had shaved heads or very short hair to accommodate their wigs during this period, they wore caps like this one to keep warm after their...
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A Humble Floral
Floral wallpapers constitute probably the largest grouping of wallpapers in the Cooper Hewitt collection. Floral designs have always been in fashion since the early days of wallpaper, and appear in every style from neo-classical, to art deco to pop art. Floral designs have also been produced in every printing technique used to produce wallpapers, from...
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The People’s Vase
This vase was designed and made by Hilda Jesser. Jesser attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) in Vienna from 1914 until 1917 where she took classes with members of the Wiener Werkstätte whom she designed for from 1916 to 1921. During her time as a student at the Kunstgewerbeschule she primarily focused on fashion...