Object of the Day

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185206_4211d66fac25f779_b[1]
Your Own Little Sunrise
I have noticed a trend over the past few years for ombré wallpapers, papers that have subtle color shifts or blends from one color to another. This creates quite a beautiful effect and can introduce multiple colors in a room without weighing down the design with a heavy pattern. Not that I have anything against...
1975-32-14
Under the Sea
In July of 1913, Arthur Sanders, a gaffer at Tiffany Studios, was sent on a dream of a business trip. He traveled to Hamilton, Bermuda to study marine life through a glass-bottomed boat. Sanders observed the beauty of the underwater world so that he could later reproduce it in glass when back in Corona, New...
Nightcap, France, 18th century, linen and cotton embroidered with wool in chain, buttonhole and stem stitches; silk binding, silk and metallic tassel, Gift of Richard C. Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline E. Greenleaf, 1952-47-3.
Crewel Cap
This 18th-century hat, called a nightcap, is decorated with crewel, a wool yarn often used to embroider linen. Known as crewelwork, this technique was frequently applied to nightcaps, where it was worked into bouquets of exotic and imaginary flowers and winding stems. Similar motifs also appeared on colorfully dyed chintz, an Indian cotton textile that...
Tiffany Exhibition Catalog_Cover and Title Page
Tiffany & Co. at the Chicago Fair
Founded in 1837, Tiffany & Co. by the late 19th century had become one of the leading manufacturers and retailers in America of fine jewelry and luxury items.  This small catalog lists items on display from Tiffany & Co.  in the Manufacturers and Liberal Arts Building at the Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.  The...
Drawing of engaged rustic columns with Tuscan capitals projecting from an archway. Above, an undecorated entablature and triangular pediment with three vertical projections.
Rustic Tuscan
Rusticated masonry was first used in the classical world. It is characterized by stones cut with a deliberately rough surface, and wide sunken joints between blocks. The Ancient Romans typically employed coarse stone in public structures such as city walls and aqueducts. However, during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41 – 54 C.E.), rusticated stonework...
1997-11-4_9
The Aesthetic Office: Tiffany’s Grapevine Desk Set
The father of the English Arts & Crafts Movement William Morris once stated, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This maxim surely included the office, and Morris would most certainly have approved of this six-piece desk set by Louis Comfort Tiffany, a perfect...
265535_4c2a74841eed18d9_b[1]
A Terrific Trellis
Thomas Strahan Co. was a prolific American wallpaper manufacturer that is well-represented in the Cooper Hewitt’s collection. Mr. Strahan was a successful retailer of wallcoverings, and also had a stint as mayor of Chelsea, Massachusetts. He founded his company in 1866 after becoming frustrated that “he could not obtain wall papers approaching his decorative standards.”...
Sampler, 1829, New York, USA, wool embroidered with silk in cross, stem, chain, back, and four-sided stitches, 1941-69-124
Embroidering the State
Elizabeth Ann Goldin was fourteen when she embroidered this map of the State of New York. Such map samplers would have provided an excellent opportunity for schoolgirls to display their knowledge of geography as well as their needlework skills. In addition to outlining and naming each New York county, Elizabeth depicts Lakes Erie, Ontario, and...
81967_55b153ad4e035340_b
Sensing a new spirit of Japan
When it comes to Japanese graphic design, a certain set of visual elements are conjured in one’s mind. Simplified forms; a minimal color palette, the generous use of negative space; an effective use of black; and unique lettering, are all characteristic elements that draw on the aesthetics of Zen culture, Japanese Buddhism, calligraphy, ukiyo-e woodblock...