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3920 Vanity, 1939; Designed by Gilbert Rohde (American, 1894 – 1944); east indian laurel, sequoia burl, oak, acrylic, brass, patinated steel, leather, mirrored glass; H x W x D: 127 × 127 × 43.2 cm (50 × 50 × 17 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2016-5-19-a/d
A Modern Beauty
Whether you call it a dressing table or a vanity, during the 1930s and 1940s this furniture form expressed the glamour and mystique of femininity. A woman sitting at her vanity—preparing to go out or to entertain in her home—connotes the vanity’s cultural associations with beauty, self-image, and preparation. Designed by Gilbert Rohde for Herman...
Bed cover (suzani), 19th century, Anadolu, Turkey, cotton, embroidered with silk in chain and Bokhara couching stitches, Gift of Provident Securities Company from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Crocker, 1955-133-18
Made By Many Hands
Suzani, meaning “of needle” in Persian, are large-scale embroideries central to Central Asian domestic culture. Young girls learned to sew at an early age, often beginning to work on textiles intended for their own marriage dowries. Suzanis were considered the most important textiles in a dowry. Indicators of skill and family wealth, they were status...
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Another Wallflower
This wallpaper was once part of a showroom sample book that was unbound at some point and then later donated to the Cooper Hewitt. The samples are a nice group of art nouveau and Mission-style wallpapers. This paper is a good example of American art nouveau design with its large-scale floral motif filling the width...
Three jewelry designs, each below the other. The watch chain has three balls connected by thin pieces of chain. The first bracelet has six sheild-like disks connected by joints. The second bracelet has a center section inscribed "VBI AMOR / IBI ANIMA."
Emulating the Ancients in Gold
Capitalizing on growing nationalism after Italy’s unification in 1870, the Castellani jewelry company coined the term “Italian archeological jewelry.” Their copies of ancient Etruscan, Greek, and Roman works appealed to erudite consumers in Europe and America, accommodating nineteenth-century tastes for revival styles. Although based in Rome, the company promoted their designs abroad and won acclaim at...
Door Boss And Nail; Spain, ca. 1500; Wrought iron; Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt; 1931-88-11-a,b
Iron Will
Since the ninth century, pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela in Spain have followed a route marked by scallop shells. The Way of Saint James has lead thousands of pilgrims on foot across the Iberian Peninsula to visit the relics of the Apostle James, who was martyred in 44 C.E. The journey became especially popular...
Absurd ABC Cover
WALTER CRANE’S THE ABSURD A.B.C.
One of the most creative periods in the history of children’s books took place in the second half of the nineteenth century. “Father of the illustrated children’s book”, Walter Crane, (1845-1915) was not only one of the most prolific illustrators in the Victorian era, but was also an artist and decorative designer in the fields...
1969-- Matt Flynn 035
Steinberg’s Flowers
This sidewall was designed by Saul Steinberg (1914-1999), a Romanian/American artist much loved for the dozens of covers and twelve hundred cartoons he drew for The New Yorker. Here, his characteristic ink-work has been expertly copied by the screen printing processes of Piazza Prints, who manufactured this paper c. 1950-1955. Against a white ground, widely-spaced...
Two white, stylized female figures and one black, stylized male figure on purple ground, with horizontally printed black and white sans-serif text
A Teetering Trio in a Pastel Void
Alvin Lustig designed numerous book covers for New Directions Publishing over the course of his prolific career, including several for Tennessee Williams’s plays. Lustig’s modernist designs, characterized by their dramatic simplicity, contrast with the voluptuous poetry and unapologetic melodrama of Williams’s writing. For this cover for A Streetcar Named Desire, Lustig choreographed a three-way dance...
Sampler, 1805, Concord, Massachusetts, USA, silk embroidery stitches on linen foundation, Bequest of Mrs. Henry E. Coe, 1941-69-86.
House And Trees Within A Border
Betsy Adams’s sampler is part of a large group of related examples worked from about 1790 until at least 1805 in Boston or nearby towns in Middlesex County. Typical characteristics of these samplers are deeply arcaded borders surrounding a central panel comprising an alphabet, verse, and pictorial elements within a saw-tooth border. The pictorial elements...