Object of the Day

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Scarf, Reflecting Well, ca. 2003
Reflecting Well
Reflecting Well, by Junichi Arai, continues his life-long investigation into materials and textile techniques and the transformation of two-dimensional cloth into sculptural and vibrant surfaces. In this polyester and aluminum piece, Arai combines a melt-off technique, which dissolves the metallic thread leaving behind a transparent cloth, with shibori, a type of tie-dyeing technique that, in...
Chair, Consumers Rest, ca. 1991
Shopping carts crashing (servers)
In post-apocalyptic cinema the slow sweeping shot of a half-submerged shopping cart in a river is a standard – just before the horde of zombies lurch onscreen. Symbolic of consumerism under late capitalism, in these films the shopping cart is a marker of our (lost) civilization. Shopping carts also evoke memories of childhood – hours...
Panel, P.Kasuri No. 46, 2007
Colors within colors
Jun Tomita is a Japanese textile artist who has worked with the traditional dyeing technique of kasuri for over two decades, while adding his own rich and contemporary interpretation. Kasuri, the Japanese word for ikat (which is derived from the Malay-Indonesian word mengikat, meaning "to tie or to bind"), has been popular in Japan since...
Dado, France, 1810–15. Block-printed on handmade paper. Gift of Teresa Kilham, 1955-86-2
Hercules Supports the World, and the Wall
This is a wallpaper dado, in the neoclassical style which would be hung at the bottom of the wall between the baseboard and chair rail. As it is located near the floor, the dado is visually supporting the weight of the wall and for this reason it was frequently architectural in nature. The deep colonnade...
Hair jewelry Pattern book page of brooches, Museum collection crescent shaped brooch
Treasured Tresses- Hair Jewelry Pattern Books
The Cooper-Hewitt Library owns many types of pattern books for architecture, textiles, wall coverings, and ornament for use by designers. Among our more unusual “how to” pattern books and trade catalogs are two recently digitized hair jewelry pattern books – The jewellers' book of patterns in hair work and Charles T. Menge's price list of...
“Hunting” Frieze, 1905. Cecil Aldin1935). Produced by Arthur Sanderson & Sons, Ltd., London, England. Block printed on ingrain paper. Gift of Standard Coated Products, 1975-2-5-a/g
Children’s Frieze Makes Learning Fun
Children's Frieze Makes Learning Fun Cecil Aldin was a well-known painter and book illustrator, highly esteemed for his animal portraiture. This children’s frieze was made up of seven different panels that would be joined end to end to form a non-repeating scene thirty-five feet long. This is long enough to wrap around an average-size room...
Sampler, 1825. Embroidered by Catharine Parsells. Embroidered in silk on linen. Bequest of Gertrude M. Oppenheimer, 1981-28-135
Not Only Ours
The Quakers, or the Society of Friends, played a primary role in establishing the earliest charity schools in New York City, which provided access to secular education for those who would not otherwise have had the opportunity. During the Revolutionary War, the Quakers' strict adherence to principles of non-violence made them suspect to their countrymen....
Sidewall, Shells, 1968-69. Frederick Bradley. Made by Woodson Wallpapers, Inc. New York, New York, USA; Screenprint on paper. Gift of Woodson Wallpapers, Inc., 1969-54-3
No Shell Shock with this Design
The Shells wallpaper is an interesting hybrid design combining a traditional vining floral design and shell art, or coquillage. The vine, foliage, and flowers are all composed of a variety of large and small sea shells. This design is screenprinted in five colors on a white ground. The 1960s sparked a revival of historical styles...
Print, New Urban Ground, Proposal for Rising Currents Exhibition, 2009. ARO (founded 1993) and dlandstudio (founded 2005). Museum purchase from Architecture Research Office and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 2013-52-1
Rising Currents
In 2009-10 five teams of architects, landscape architects, and other professionals were invited to take part in a workshop at PS 1, organized by MoMA and Barry Bergdoll, then Head of the Architecture and Design Department, to address the problem of global warming and its impact on lower Manhattan. This was three years before Hurricane...
R-72, “Toot-A-Loop” Portable Radio, ca. 1970. Manufactured by National Panasonic Radio brand, Matushita Electrical Industrial Co., Ltd., Japan. Gift of Jacqueline Loewe Fowler, 2007-37-5
Staying in the Loop
The R-72, also called the “Toot-A-Loop,” is a wonderful example of Pop Art-inspired design. Departing from the square box format, this battery-operated portable radio is shaped like a donut with an off-center hole. It could be worn on the wrist like a bracelet or carried like a purse.  Simply by twisting the swivel joint at...