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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...
Birdhouse Model of the Carlyle Hotel
A Model for Singing
Why does this trompe l’oeil architectural model that is also a bird house have anything to do with night clubs? It was a wonderful present to Bobby Short in honor of his many years crooning at the Café Carlyle in the Carlyle Hotel. It combines the artistic talent of Richard Haas, an unknown model maker,...
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Stepping it Up
Step Up on Fifth, located in the heart of downtown Santa Monica, is a five-story affordable housing complex built to offer support services and rehabilitation for the local homeless and mentally disabled population. Completed in 2009 by Los Angeles-based architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa, the building, a former parking structure, integrates 46 studio apartments with...
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Dandelions
This sidewall was designed by the firm Denst & Soderlund in 1952-53. Thin, wavering black lines radiate out from a central point forming a large round motif resembling a dandelion flower gone to seed. The motif is repeated vertically on the panel, and is so large that it only takes two “dandelions” to cover the...
@ojosep1
December Designgrams
We rounded out 2015 with a number of dazzling designgrams posted by our visitors. To be featured in next month’s roundup, don’t forget to tag #cooperhewitt in your Instagram posts. @___ico___ posted a museum mashup from “Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio.” @architrapho brought her daughter to “Pixar: The Design of Story.” @eglasberg...
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A Fiercely Festive Feline
This pendant might look like it is a small, decorative trinket, but it had great religious and magical meaning to the ancient Egyptian who wore it. Depicting Sakhmet, the lion headed warrior goddess, it belongs to a group of objects called amulets that were meant to protect the owner through the use of apotropaic magic....
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Arno at the World’s Fair
Prolific cartoonist Peter Arno composed this cover for The New Yorker to celebrate the reopening of the 1939 New York World’s Fair in 1940.[1] The drawing depicts attendants, hosts, and representatives looking towards the fairground’s entrance in anticipation of large crowds. With the looming threat of World War II, the 1940 season of the 1939 New...