Object of the Day

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A group of three children in the center of a grassy lawn with a large shadow of a swastika looming over them. One of the boy stands while holding a toy plane while another in a paper hat holds up an American flag. A girl sits in front of them, holding a doll. In the lower margin is the text, "Don't Let That Shadow Touch Them / Buy WAR BONDS."
Throwing Some Serious Shade
In the midst of World War II, the war effort was reliant upon the purchase of war bonds by the American population. In 1942, the military could not hold off the encroaching armies without the support of Americans. Graphic designer Lawrence Beall Smith dramatically presented the necessity of war bonds to the public by showing...
spot sampler
At the Edges
This spot sampler is one of a genre of 17th century samplers that truly embodied the name. Most samplers of the period had a structure, pleasant in appearance, which incorporated pattern bands, phrases, and information about the maker such as her name and the date she completed the work. However, spot samplers like this one...
Undulating single panel seat starting from a back-curved head rest and descending on an angled plane to the bottom of spine before heading up to bend at the knee area and descending slightly at calf length, all supported between two curvilinear arms, descending to a cross bar and continuing to form back legs, connecting at the cross brace to seat supports of trapezoidal shape.
Bending for the Brits
The Hungarian-born Marcel Breuer is perhaps best known for his tubular steel B3 (‘Wassily’) and B32 (‘Cesca’) chairs, which he designed while leading the carpentry workshop at the Bauhaus, after it moved from Weimar to Dessau, Germany, in 1925.  Legend has it his experiments with tubular steel were inspired by his bicycle. Breuer, who was...
Text in the upper margin reads, "Someone" and in the lower margin, "Talked!" all in block capitals. In the center, a soldier is shown drowning in water, pointing his finger out at the viewer.
Loose Lips Sink Ships
During World War II, poster competitions were held to solicit designs, under particular themes, to assist in the war effort. This poster, designed by Frederick Siebel, was submitted to alert Americans to the urgency of national security. For this contest each poster was subject to the scrutiny of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who acted as...
Molded cube shape of off-white plastic, casters; large cylindrical well in center, three smaller wells on two sides, one oval well on each of other two sides.
A Modern Bacchanalia
Bacco is the Italian name for Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and intoxication. The legendary festivals in his honor were devoted to wild drinking, freedom, and sexual promiscuity, and the word Bacchanalia has become synonymous with orgy. However, scholars debate the specifics of these events and are left with limited resources for interpretation. The...
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The Proper Sort of Wallpaper
This French sidewall, produced ca. 1845, was block-printed in grisaille tones on a light gray background. Vignettes of daily life in a country village ride magic carpet-like atop grassy meadows. The vignettes are framed by the foliage and trunks of large trees, and two columns each feature alternating pairs of vertically repeating scenes. The left-hand...
Child's dress
Fit for a Girl – Or a Boy?
Do you wonder why this early eighteenth-century silk dress is labeled a “child’s dress” and not a “girl’s dress”? You may be surprised to learn that both young girls and boys wore dresses at this time, a practice that actually continued into the first decades of the twentieth century. Before the sixteenth century, European men...
Horizontal red and black poster in which two military leaders pull a cart of symbolic figures across a field. Behind the cart, three figures are sprawled on the ground. Red and white Cyrillic text is printed in the top right.
A Graphic Field of Bayonets
In this Soviet poster designed by Dmitri Moor, cartoonish figures trek across a dark landscape transformed by war. Along the lower border, Moor substitutes bloody bayonets for blades of grass, implying that Soviet land is hostile to these travelers, all of whom are enemies of the Bolshevik cause. The poster satirizes Soviet adversaries in both...
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On the Hunt for a Manly Wallpaper
Trophées de Chasse is screen-printed on vinyl and features a repeating, overlapping pattern of mounted deer antlers printed over a dark background of tribal-inspired stripes. And it was available with a matching frieze to top off the wall. When I first saw this wallpaper, I had to laugh. Not because it’s silly (maybe it is?)...