Object of the Day

Study sample for "Houses on a Street," USA, 1939, tapestry woven cotton (double interlocked with extended dovetailing for shading), Gift of Lydia Van Gelder, 1996-47-2.
Lydia’s Houses
This textile study sample was woven by Lydia van Gelder in preparation for a larger wall hanging, “Houses on a Street” that she created for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. Serving as a diminutive sample for the larger piece, it is tapestry woven – double interlocked with extended dovetailing for shading....
Not Just Another Landscape Paper
This is another landscape paper that has been given a slightly different treatment. The viewer is looking through a dense grove of trees, into a clearing of some sort, followed by more trees in the distance. The colors in the foreground are darker and more saturated, getting lighter as they recede into the distance, creating...
Books and Biscuits
This trompe-l’oeil biscuit tin takes the form of a stack of books with handsome marbled pages and tooled leather bindings. The titles include some of the most ubiquitous texts in British history, from the moralistic Pilgrim’s Progress to the adventure stories of Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. The books are a play on the name...
Speaking in Tongues
Graphic designer Tibor Kalman made a circle of blue the visual centerpiece of Talking Heads’ 1983 release Speaking in Tongues. The circle is seven inches in diameter, just like a 45 record. But while the graphic might evoke the standard format of singles from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, it was actually inspired by the...
Cap, Morocco, 1900–1950, knitted wool, Gift of Woman's Day Magazine, 1966-54-1.
A Protective Cap
This wool cap, probably intended for a man, was made in the first half of the 20th century by the indigenous inhabitants of Morocco, the Amazigh people (also called the Berbers), who make up 40-60 percent of the population and have a language and culture distinct from Arabs. Amazigh textiles were mainly produced by women,...
Ornamente von Bruno Mauder. Plauen i Vogtl: Christian Stoll, 1910.
Wiener Werkstȁtte Designs
Bruno Mauder (1877-1948), a designer of glass art, studied at the School of Applied Arts in Munich from 1899 to 1901 and in 1909, was appointed director of technical school for glass industry and wood carving in Zwiesel, Germany. For the next 40 years, Mauder worked as a glass designer in this area including the...
Two-fer Wallpaper: Illustrating Innovation with Scenic Wonders
Wallpaper showing views of popular tourist destinations in Canada, all centering around the Saint Lawrence River. Rendered as petite watercolor paintings the four views include the Victoria Bridge in Montreal, the Thousand Islands, Falls of Montmorency, and the Lachine Rapids. Completed in 1859, Victoria Bridge links the cities of Montreal and Saint-Lambert and greatly facilitated...
Easy Come, Easy Go
This gambling token, or jeton, features the double-faced god Janus. With one eye looking to the past and the other to the future, the ancient Roman deity oversaw change — including change in luck and fortune. This is precisely what a nineteenth-century gambler might have hoped for as he cast the silver piece onto a...
Sampler, Germany, 2015, designed by Heidrun Schimmel (German, b. 1941), Medium: silk foundation, cotton and polyester embroidery
Technique: embroidered on plain weave, Gift of Heidrun Schimmel, 2015-14-1
Thread Tracks Time
Heidrun Schimmel says that she has always been interested in the connection between fiber/fabric/textile and the human being, especially between the thread and the human. Perhaps a metaphor for human existence, stitching with thread tracks time, especially when employing the same type of stitch on the same type of cloth as Schimmel has been doing...