Object of the Day

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Bawden’s Pastoral View
Edward Bawden was a watercolorist, book illustrator, mural painter, and designer. He was inspired to design his first wallpaper after viewing the Daisy pattern by William Morris in an exhibition in 1925. Bawden’s preferred method of printing was the linoleum block at which he became quite adept. Harold Curwen, of the Curwen Press, saw some...
Image of a red flying plane. Surrounded by small vignettes
What do you want to be when you grow up?
In 1940, with World War II already underway, it seemed inevitable that America would soon be joining the fight against the Axis powers. The U.S. Army Air Corps published this recruitment poster shown above. The imagery utilized by an unknown graphic designer romanticized participation in the academy’s cadet program. The montage of photographs showcase cutting-edge planes...
Fall cap, silk bobbin lace, France, 19th century
A Fashionable Headdress
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a lace cap with a pair of long streamers was a popular headdress for women. The most fashionable cap streamers were made of delicate bobbin or needle lace. These cap streamers or lappets were sometimes pinned up, but often they hung loose about the sides or back of the...
Square with greenish-blue ground having white decoration consisting of a kneeling woman wearing conical hat, long robe, watering a plant in classical vase at left, from which a cherub rises.
Watering Cupid
This pâte-sur-pâte glazed porcelain plaque, made by Mintons Ltd. in about 1909, reflects the humor and creativity of its designer, Marc Louis Emanuel Solon (1835-1913). Pâte-sur-pâte is a complex, time-consuming technique, which requires the designer to apply successive thin layers of liquid clay onto a tinted clay body in order to create a design. The...
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An Austrian in New York City
This lovely midcentury American wallpaper, entitled Calling Card, was designed by celebrated New York decorator Beryl Austrian, and was meant to invoke the old time grandeur of 1830s Washington Square. Two columns of mint green vines crawl their way up a gray background, forming continuous chains of leafy circles. Alternating circles contain a vignette showing...
Image of a man and a woman in a rustic background
The Original Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet’s story is known across the world, but what about the tale that serves as the foundation for Shakespeare’s work? Ovid’s Metamorphosis tells the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe; like Romeo and Juliet, these two were young lovers forbidden to wed because of a long-standing rivalry between their families. Their love grew through...
Marisak Karasz
Sleeping with the Fishes
“It’s not how you do a stitch, it’s what you do with it” was Mariska Karasz’s exhortation to would-be embroiderers. Serving as guest needlework editor for House Beautiful magazine from 1951–53, the artist wrote needlework lessons with suggestions for adding unique decorative embroidery to bedding, table linens and curtains. But her instruction was never prescriptive;...
Small writing desk with curved back continuing in natural curve down the back legs. Liftable writing surface inset with stamped leather. Surface on all sides decorated with Oriental design of petals of mother-of-pearl and entwining lines of brass and silver alloy.
A Bit of Zen
This desk is an example of the Italian interpretation of the Art Nouveau style, known as Stile Floreale. This desk model was exhibited by Carlo Zen, a Milanese furniture manufacturer, at the 1902 First International Exposition of Modern Decorative Arts, in Turin, Italy. The exhibition helped Italy to show the rest of the world that...
1969-- Matt Flynn 008
Timeless View of Paris
While Steinberg trained as an architect, he is best known for his satirical cartoons in The New Yorker. He began drawing shortly after enrolling in college and had his first cartoon published in The New Yorker in 1941, and even after joining the US Navy in 1943 he continued sending in cartoons from his various...