Object of the Day

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OTD_bommel
Acanthus in Motion
A lion and a hare are composed entirely of scrolling acanthus leaves in this late-seventeenth-century engraving. It is the fifth plate from a suite of six designs for gold ornament, entitled Neu-ersonnene Gold-Schmieds Grillen (New Designs for Ornaments in Gold). The acanthus motif, whose origins date to ancient Greece and Rome, was omnipresent in European...
OTD_Salviati
Pleasures and Perils of the Tongue
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” warns a proverbial inscription on a knife blade imagined by Francesco Salviati. Knife handles further illustrate the tongue’s pleasures and perils, and these sensuous yet violent scenes seem to caution diners about to indulge. On one handle, a figure risks a snakebite to reach into...
OTD_Da Modena
Fragile Beasts and Where to Find Them
Have you ever wondered where you could find a spotted, two-legged creature with the body of a lizard, the ears of a goat, the wings of a bird and the claws of a chicken?  How about a monster with the head of a dolphin, ears of acanthus leaves, the body of a snake, and a tail...
OTD_Gallo
A View of “A View from the Bridge”
And this view, regardless of perspective, intends to invite the viewer into a daunting realm of judgmental voyeurism . . . Set designer David Gallo’s drawing for the 1998 revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge was used to make adaptations to the theatrical set when the production transferred from the Roundabout Theatre...
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Nancy McClelland: Making Antique New
The Colonial revival movement in the early years of the twentieth century prompted a number of wallpaper manufacturers to start reproducing antique patterns. The majority of the manufacturers were printing these copies using wallpaper printing machines, while most of the antique papers being copied were originally woodblock printed. While printing machines were the current technology...
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The Internet of Buttons
The Nest Thermostat found its way into our collection a couple of years ago. It made perfect sense at the time. The Internet of Things was quickly becoming a thing, and devices like the Nest were popping up in a variety of shapes and forms. From a design standpoint, the Nest solves a number of...
This is a model. We acquired it in 1951. Its medium is carved and painted wood.
Setting Sail for the Afterlife
While the wooden boat model pictured here might seem like something created as a toy or a builder’s model, for the ancient Egyptians it actually was an important piece of religious and funerary equipment. Water played an important role in the ancient Egyptian’s daily lives, since the Nile River acted as a sort of ancient...
Skirt, 19th century, China, silk satin, embroidered with silk, Gift of the Estate of Mrs. Robert H. Patterson, 1941-31-31
A Poetic Skirt
Chinese skirt styles are often called aprons and are typically comprised of two identical sections, each with a decorated panel, a side panel and a pleated or gored panel. They were worn overlapping, wrapped around the body and secured through fabric loops and knotted buttons. The sections were attached to a wide waistband, usually made...
1949-133-3-ab
Wallpaper With a View
This style of paper is referred to as a figural landscape or landscape figures. Wallpapers in this genre usually contain three to four different landscape views, quite often centered on a theme. They can focus on harbor views, the hunt, or more humble scenes such as this one, which might be called The Homecoming, or...