1931-45-59 lo res
The Delicate Balance of Nature
This figural landscape paper contains four different views and is printed in about 13 colors. This is a cleverly rendered pattern with a complicated format that was inspired by arabesque designs of the late nineteenth century. The earlier arabesque designs contained landscape scenes or activities placed upon thin plateaus, each delicately balanced and supported by...
abstract pattern and soft texture
Quarry Spider
Sheila Hicks’ Quarry Spider (2003) is an artistic achievement in color, structure and technique. The small weaving, measuring only 9 ¼” x 5 7/8”, is one of almost 1,000 works included in her series Miniatures – an enduring project that began over 50 years ago. Each was created on a small loom constructed from painter’s stretcher...
Chinoiserie pattern in blue on a cream colored ground. Two figures, on carrying a standard, mount a fantastical staircase toward a pagoda. Flowers and figures are in the style of French artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement. Rococo style scrolls throughout. Bottom edge bound with white braid. Blue warps at each edge.
Chinese Figures
This textile’s whimsical chinoiserie scene was inspired by the work of French artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728 – 1808), and printed by Bromley Hall, a prominent textile printing manufactory in Middlesex, England. As discussed in a previous Object of the Day post, Pillement’s fanciful illustrations inspired myriad textile designs, especially in the late-eighteenth century. Although this...
man holding a book
Meet the Staff: Stephan Van Dyk
Can you explain the type of work you do with the Cooper Hewitt? As the Library Director I select and manage the library collections, provide information to researchers, and offer support to Cooper Hewitt curators and Master’s students. Most recently I have been busy creating blogs and essays on library treasures. What do you enjoy...
Print showing two elaborate tureens on either side of a rococo centerpiece
Surf & Turf: A Silver Tureen for a Duke
Eighteenth-century meal services were elaborate affairs, as exemplified in this print showing tureens and a table center piece designed by Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier for Evelyn Pierrepont, Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull in the 1730s. Meissonnier worked for Louis XV, becoming  orfèvre du roi (goldsmith to the king) in 1724. This engraving is plate 115 in folio 72 of...
Aluminum and steel streamlined meat slicer with rounded knobs.
A Slice of Design from the Local Deli
Designed more than 70 years ago, the Model 410 meat slicer, also known as the Streamliner, is not just a utilitarian object for the food service industry. It is also a wonderful example of streamlining, a style of Modernism that combines principles of aerodynamic engineering with geometry, often characterized by smooth rhythmic surfaces and forms...
2004-22-1
Britannia in America
The lovely lady featured on this late 18th century panel of wallpaper is Britannia: the United Kingdom personified as a classical deity (think the British version of Lady Liberty). The neo-classical “pillar and arch” design that frames her is a distinctly English style of wallcovering, and she was without-a-doubt manufactured across the pond. Despite her...
Woven souvenir based on the painting 'Portrait of Henry VIII' (c. 1540) by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543). "W.W.L. CO. 1963 DEL. H.H." appears below the portrait. Black, burgundy, golden-yellow, white, and salmon on white warp.
Not Just Any Label
In 1978, Cooper Hewitt received a gift of twenty-two jacquard woven souvenir portrait ribbons from Lisa Taylor, the museum’s director at the time. The series was produced by the Warner Woven Label Company, Inc. of Paterson, New Jersey, which every year made a single souvenir ribbon based on a famous master portrait painting in Western...
Drawing, Design for a Monument Commemorating Systematization of Weights and Measures in France, 17951800
For Liberty, Equality, and the Metric System
The infamous Bastille prison was demolished in 1789, in the first year of the French Revolution, an event that had great political as well as artistic consequences. This pen and wash drawing is a design for a monument intended for the Place de la Bastille following the destruction of the prison. The design has been...