Object of the Day

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Cartouche with a papal crown and emblems of death
A Papal Graveyard
This is a design for a cartouche by the French académician, ornemaniste, and painter Jacques de Lajoüe (1687- 1761). It was etched by Gabriel Huquier as plate 4 in his Second book of Cartouches (Deuxième livre de Cartouches), which was published in 1734 (as established by Roland Michel). The ascribed date locates this at a...
Flat marli. Concentric bands, in gold: plain, advancing wave motif, and scattered stars; enclosing view of the Sèvres porcelain factory in colors.
Sèvres Self Portrait
This plate shows a picturesque view of the Manufacture de Sèvres, the prestigious French porcelain factory first established under Louis XV. The manufactory was more than just a workplace; many employees lived within the building or in nearby housing. The surrounding pastoral countryside had plots of land where workers could garden. The plate’s figure sitting...
Stumpwork
Stumpwork and Storytelling
My first introduction to stumpwork occurred as a young girl, when my Scottish-American grandmother taught me how to embroider samplers. We gradually advanced to creating pictures in raised embroidery using padding, wire, and different types of dimensional embroidery stitches. Completed stumpwork pieces in major museums include purses and bags, framed pictures, and panels used on...
Roll of paper printed in a repeating design of flowers and foliage in the style of Pillement. Roll formed of joined sheets.
Chinoiserie Wallpaper
This colorful 18th century English wallpaper was designed in the style of Jean Pillement, the celebrated French illustrator of chinoiserie and some-time royal painter to Marie Antoinette. The repeating pattern of flowers and foliage show Asian motifs as interpreted through a Western lense. In 1755 a folio entitled “A New Book of Chinese Ornaments, Invented...
A phalanx of soldiers stands at the center of the poster, waving red flags. A title beneath them reads "The 1st of May." They are flanked by peasants and workers. An angular, modern cityscape rises behind them.
Between Heaven and Earth: Icons of the Revolution
With raised flags and soaring spirits, soldiers, sailors, workers, and peasants rally together in this Soviet poster by Nikolai Kogout. United, they celebrate May first, International Workers’ Day. Conceived as a labor strike for an eight-hour workday, the holiday was adopted by Soviet leaders to commemorate the struggle of proletarian workers around the world. In...
Textile, 1963
A Hand-Made Feeling
Hans Krondahl is an important Swedish textile designer and fiber artist of the 1960s and 70s. Krondahl graduated from the National College of Art, Craft and Design in Stockholm in 1959. He opened his own studio in 1962, designing both large-scale tapestries for public environments as well as designs for industrially printed textiles. He was...
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...