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Textile, 1955, USA, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (American, 1867–1959), manufactured by F. Schumacher & Co., New York, New York, USA (founded 1889), screen printed linen, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine, 1967-90-4.
The Wright Textile
Although most of his home furnishings were designed for specific interiors, Frank Lloyd Wright created several lines of products for the market, among them the Taliesin Line of wall coverings and textiles, produced in partnership with F. Schumacher and Company. The collection included wallpaper, woven fabric, and printed fabric such as this, and many of...
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Steinberg’s Opera
One of several wallpaper designs by Saul Steinberg, this paper shows elevations of the Palais Garnier in Paris. Illustrated in signature Steinberg style, the design is fun and whimsical while drawing attention to some of the building’s notable architectural components. The two different elevations are drawn as caricatures which highlight the grandiosity and opulence of...
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To See and Be Seen
Between 1861 and 1875, French architect Charles Garnier designed the new Paris Opera House. With its heavily ornamented Second Empire Baroque style exterior and its sumptuous and ornate interiors, Garnier successfully designed a new cultural hub for the French social elite. However, Garnier’s design goes well beyond style. Garnier carried out careful and extensive studies...
paulrand
Play it, Stravinsky!
Paul Rand was an influential American graphic designer well known for the logos he created for IBM, UPS, ABC and other corporations. His 1947 book Thoughts on Design is considered a seminal text on graphic design. The poster above shows something different from Paul Rand’s oeuvre. It’s not a neat and compact corporate logo; instead...
Sampler, ca. 1796, Massachusetts, USA, silk embroidered in cross, satin and stem stitches on linen plain weave foundation, Bequest of Mrs. Henry E. Coe, 1941-69-46.
Sally’s Sampler
The unstructured nature of this family register sampler, initialed “SS” and attributed to Sally Sacket (b. 1786), is typical of eighteenth-century examples. In contrast to the more organized genealogy samplers that appear after 1800, the text here is run together in continuous lines. Sally’s sampler is one of a group of three Westfield, Massachusetts, examples...
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Through the Looking Glass
Does this object look familiar to you? If you’ve ever used a Google Cardboard, or if you grew up playing with a View-Master, you might recognize this stereoscope as a precursor of today’s virtual reality (VR) viewers. The first stereoscope was developed by the British scientist Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1838, just before the invention...
firework
Fleeting Beauty
Written by Rayna Wang. Pyrotechnics, The History and Art of Firework Making, from the rare book collection at Cooper Hewitt’s design library, is illustrated with several wood-block prints of Japanese fireworks made by Hirayama Firework factory in Yokohama, Japan in the late 19th century. Fireworks were firstly developed in China, then Japanese pyrotechnics developed them...
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Pleating the Walls
Here is an interesting version of a drapery wallpaper design. Wallpapers imitating draperies have been a small but elegant genre since the time of Napolean, when walls draped in fabric were popularized by the design and decorating team of Percier and Fontaine, largely credited with creating the Empire style. Many of the finer papers were...
Brooch in artform holder
The Secret Life Of Jewelry
Ever wonder what your jewelry does when you aren’t wearing it? This brooch by the British art jeweler and goldsmith Kevin Coates demonstrates Coates grappling with this question. When Coates creates a piece of jewelry he often also designs an elaborate and beautiful housing for it to live in when not being worn, allowing the...