Object of the Day

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A Sticky Woodgrain
Woodgrain or faux bois designs are another genre with a long running history in wallpaper design. There are examples in the collection that were hand painted, wood block printed, machine printed and lithograph printed. There are most likely digital versions as well but I don’t believe there is an example in the Cooper Hewitt collection,...
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Art Nouveau, all over the floor!
The Cooper Hewitt Library has a number of linoleum catalogs. Carpettes Linoleum is our newest, and to date, earliest one. This flooring trade catalog from Lancaster, England was printed for distribution to French consumers, who like many other European and American buyers, liked the durability, versatility, cleanliness, and the variety of designs available in linoleum...
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Keep Warm with a Smart Cap
This nightcap, dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, was made using a technique called crewel, a type of embroidery worked with wool yarn on linen. Since men had shaved heads or very short hair to accommodate their wigs during this period, they wore caps like this one to keep warm after their...
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A Humble Floral
Floral wallpapers constitute probably the largest grouping of wallpapers in the Cooper Hewitt collection. Floral designs have always been in fashion since the early days of wallpaper, and appear in every style from neo-classical, to art deco to pop art. Floral designs have also been produced in every printing technique used to produce wallpapers, from...
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The People’s Vase
This vase was designed and made by Hilda Jesser. Jesser attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) in Vienna from 1914 until 1917 where she took classes with members of the Wiener Werkstätte whom she designed for from 1916 to 1921. During her time as a student at the Kunstgewerbeschule she primarily focused on fashion...
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Soviet Playtime—Characters and Cosmonauts
This Soviet era trade catalog for toys was intended for non-Russian audiences, and was produced by the Raznoexport Company in Moscow. This firm sold all sorts of consumer goods of Russian manufacture for export; the text is in English and French. Textiles, rugs, tobacco, bicycles, cut glass, and building materials among other goods were marketed...
2013-1-1
The Miracle of Glass
More than 44 million people attended the New York World’s Fair in 1939 and two of the many exhibits that visitors would have enjoyed were the Glass Center, a pavilion that marketed glass as the material of the future, and the Town of Tomorrow, a faux suburb of model homes that included the House of...
2012-33-1
Eruption of Color
This striped wallpaper is one pattern from a group of seven which form Irma Boom’s Colour-Based on Nature collection. Working from photographs of UNESCO/World Heritage Sites around the globe, Boom has translated each of the landscapes into a digital color diagram. The diagrams were then translated into striped wallpaper patterns and specially mixed colors were...
1924-31-1
A Fan by Any Other Name
A carnet de bal, or dance card, was a fashionable accessory often carried by women attending a formal dance to record the names of the gentlemen with whom she would dance over the course of the evening. Occasionally, the carnet de bal would be executed as a fan, allowing a lady to write down her...