Object of the Day

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Foliate plaster dome lamp
Marcel Wanders’ Secret Garden
Warm, yellow light bathes a hemisphere of delicately molded plaster flowers, spindly tendrils and leaves. Shadows deepen the foliate reliefs, a luminous dome suspended above the ground. All the elements of an ornate plasterwork ceiling are compressed into a compact sphere. Marcel Wanders’ Skygarden hanging lamp relies upon the unquestioned unity of stylistic opposites: completely...
Invitation with black and red text in Russian on beige ground, with dividing red vertical rectangle.
Mainstream Modernism: An Open Invitation
Arresting typography and geometric precision distinguish these Soviet-era tickets, and illustrate the permeation of fine art into daily life in the USSR. The tickets reflect the influence of constructivism, an avant-garde movement characterized by the same angular abstraction evident in these designs. Here, bold blocks of color are poised in asymmetrical balance. As in a...
Sampler
The Progress of Refinement
Ellen Maria Odiorne (1812-1845) stitched this sampler, with its meandering border of grape vines, at the age of ten. Born in Malden, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of poet-turned-wealthy-industrialist Thomas Odiorne (1769-1851). His 1792 poem, “The Progress of Refinement,” which explores man’s relationship with nature, is considered a precursor to the Romantic Movement. After apparently...
CHP6824
A New Twist on Toiles
Harlem Toile de Jouy was inspired by the traditional format of toiles de Jouy, copper plate printed fabrics popular in the 18th century. They frequently showed pastoral scenes and personifications of the Continents with a somewhat staggered placement across the width of the fabric. Working with this design format Bridges has replaced the classical landscape...
Circular molded plate with curved upturned edge; white ground printed with black irregular lines and twelve reserve vignettes with furniture, kitchen tools, plants, etc.
A Heaping Plate of Design
After World War II, design boomed in Europe. Colors were brighter, lines more dynamic and materials more industrial—affordable modernism emerged to feed thriving consumers in the 1950s. The now iconic Homemaker tableware line started as a challenge for young English designer Enid Seeney. She was tasked with creating an “all-over” pattern for fashionable rimless plates....
Elevation drawing of an opulent bedroom in the Hotel de Soubise, Paris
A Princely Bedroom
The Hôtel de Soubise is a familiar sight for many researchers of French history. Located at 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the 3rd Arrondissement, the building is now used as one of the main branches of the French National Archives. This drawing after the French architect Germain Boffrand  (1667- 1754) shows an elevation of the...
Textile, Motus, 1970; Gaetano Pesce for Expansion; Screen printed cotton velvet; Gift of The Lake St. Louis Historical Society, 2001-30-1
Expansion
Gaetano Pesce was trained as an architect in Italy, but has also practiced in Paris and currently works in the United States. An extremely successful and influential designer, Pesce has established a reputation as an architect who is opposed to specialization. He has experimented, in his words, in “all fields of creative activity.” His multidisciplinary...
1996-32- Matt Flynn 003
Something Fishy for Your Walls
The Curwen Press got its start in east London in 1863 as a music publisher. The scope of the business expanded and in 1920 began including book publishing and artist prints. It was at this time that the Curwen Press made contact with the Royal College of Art and began commissioning young artists, among them...
Body of roughly hour glass form; pink-glazed ground covered with tiny gilded irregular circles; large, white loop handle on one side; tall, tapering, everted white spout opposite; circular, slighlty domed pink-glazed and gilded lid with white triangular loop handle in center.
A Collaboration for a New Century
Industrial designer Raymond Loewy’s career spanned six decades, from about 1920 to 1986, during which he was active in Europe and the United States, with offices in Paris, London, New York, and Chicago. By 1951, he directed a design staff of over one hundred and forty. Loewy and his firm are noted for their prodigious...
Matt Flynn 003
Documenting U.S. History on a Carryall
This bandbox design shows the US Capitol Building as it looked between the years 1826 and 1850. Initial construction on the Capitol began on September 18, 1793 and was completed in stages, with the senate north wing being completed in 1800, and the House of Representatives south wing completed in 1811. Not long after the...