Object of the Day

SORT BY:
65152_ddefbcc93f46ed6e_b
In the middle of evolution
In 1975, Takenobu Igarashi created the poster “Graphic Designers on the West Coast” to promote a publication that introduced American graphic designers from the West Coast to Japanese audiences. Igarashi’s simple composition is enhanced by the sculptural, three dimensional quality of letterforms that playfully refer the initials of the designers’ names featured in the book....
1997-3-2
The Middle Passage Brooch
Born in the Bronx, Phyllis Bowdwin is an activist, writer, educator, mixed-media artist, and designer. Inspired by her African ancestry, Bowdwin made this brooch that depicts in diagrammatic form the hull of a slave ship and the arrangement of its tightly packed human cargo during the Middle Passage. In this version, five heads of African...
Woman's short jacket, China, late 19th–early 20th century, silk twill inwoven with silk tapestry (kesi)
Fashion Fusion
The Qing imperial rulers (1644-1911) were of Manchu ethnicity, and ruled over a mostly Han population. For centuries, Manchu women were required to wear long one-piece robes and Han women two-piece outfits that included a jacket and skirt. Featuring elements of both traditions, this Manchu jacket demonstrates the increasing fusion of these fashions in the...
60197_25320c11313f585e_b[1]
For the Love of Books
Today, let’s talk books. Or rather, a trompe l’oeil wallpaper printed to appear like a well-stocked bookcase in someone’s library. This is one of the livelier, not to mention convincing, bookcase wallpapers I have seen. And it’s no wonder, it was created by the brilliant decorator, muralist and trompe l’oeil painter Richard Lowell Neas. Many...
Photostat, Advertisement for a Megalethoscope
Day and Night
During the mass digitization project at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, which has been under way for the last year, twenty Megalethoscope plates of unknown origin were discovered in our storage facility. The Cooper Hewitt’s Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department collection contains a photostat of an advertisement from the early 1860’s that illustrates the...
1984-90-1-a,b
The Doughnut
Conjuring up the round abstract shapes and bold colors of Alexander Calder’s hanging mobiles and graphic work, this teapot’s unique shape stands out amongst many of the teapots created by the Hall China Company during the 1930s and 1940s. Making its debut in 1938, the Doughnut teapot was one of several novelty designs created by...
Fragment, Peru, 1100-1400, plain weave with discontinuous and interlocked warps and wefts
An Elegant Duality
Andean cloth has many meanings. Some are expressed through complex iconographic representations, others employ a strictly geometric vocabulary. Another form of meaning comes from the materiality of the cloth itself and way it was made. This simple cloth is composed of interlocking stepped squares in contrasting colors. The duality of the design, like the Chinese...
30606_9eb048fd35a55dc6_b[1]
It’s Black and White and Read All Over
White Room with Text takes Tracy Kendall’s signature cut and sewn construction one step further with the addition of text. This paper is based on Kendall’s In the White Room first produced in 2002 when it was shown at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York. This is another design from Kendall’s collection...
214782_ffce525bd669ae7d_b
The Charming Bouquinistes of Paris
This lithograph, by artist Paul Jeffay (1898-1957) depicts the Left Bank of Paris, France, on what appears to be the Quai de la Tournelle. The main focus of the piece is on the bouquinistes, green boxes that line the Seine in the center of Paris, out of which booksellers sell used and antiquarian books. In...