Object of the Day

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View of an opulent bed with ornate hangings
A Bed for a King
An opulent bed, almost completely dominated by its hangings, pushes at the edges of the border in this etching by the French designer and architect, Daniel Marot. This design is for a state bed (lit d’apparat), a bed that was purely ceremonial rather than functional, and kept in royal palaces and aristocratic residences in the...
Ovoid body tapers to thin neck, wide flat lip with turned up rim.
Glass Half Full
This distinctly shaped glass vessel, with its thin tapering neck and wide body, was specially designed for growing flowering plants in their off-season, a process known as ‘forcing bulbs’.  It is often called a hyacinth vase, after the fragrant flower commonly grown indoors. One would fill the vase with enough water that the bulb, when...
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Fluctuation
Fluctuation is the perfect title for Japanese textile artist Akihiro Kaneko’s distinctive work, produced and sold today by Maharam. Made of polyester monofilament (like fishing-line thread) with a supplementary weft of washi, a traditional Japanese paper, the textile’s delicate simplicity is deceiving, as the process is actually quite complex.  First, Kaneko creates the double cloth...
Design for a folding screen panel with putti and a herm
Screening the Rococo
This is a design for a panel for a folding screen by the prolific French painter, designer and academician François Boucher. Titled, “The Triumph of Priapus,” it was etched and engraved as part of a suite of folding screen designs. This publication, which was titled Nouveaux Morceaux pour des paravents, included four other designs titled,...
liturgical gloves
Gloves for a feast
Liturgical gloves are permitted to be worn by the Pope, Archbishops, or Cardinals on special feast days or for processions. Almost all of the surviving examples in museum collections are of knitted silk, and many are ornamented on the back of the hand with a knitted or embroidered IHS monogram in gold. The sunburst monogram...
Six blocks of text outlining Stalin's 1931 "Six Conditions" speech overlap a black and white photo of Stalin. Additional quotes from the speech, printed in red and black Cyrillic appear to the right of Stalin's head at an angle against a cream-colored section. Above this, the speech's title appears in red, against a grey background.
Designing for a Dictator
Bold text surrounds a black-and-white photograph of Joseph Stalin in this Soviet poster from 1931. The poster was designed to reinforce the tenets of a speech by the leader, delivered to a meeting of industrial managers in June of the same year. The speech outlined six conditions for new industrial development, all of which are...
Design for an ewer featuring foliate scrolls and miniature nymphs
An Extravagant Ewer: Jean-Charles Delafosse’s Greek Style
This is a design for an ewer by the Parisian architect, designer, decorator and print maker, Jean-Charles Delafosse (1734-91). Delafosse engaged in diverse artistic productions producing urban planning proposals, architectural plans, furniture designs as well as drawings of ruin capriccios and allegorical and ornamental prints. His designs were widely circulated across France, England, and Germany...
Camera, Lytro, 2012
Living Images
Throughout the history of photography, advances in technology – from daguerreotype to digital photography – have continued to propel the field forward. The Lytro camera represents the first major shift in consumer photography since digital image capture was invented in 1975, and marks a significant turning point in photography’s history by offering users the possibility...
Dark violet poster featuring text in blue, oragne, and yellow. Text creates the outline of a man's silhouette. Text reads: "A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF THELONIOUS MONK. Freitag 5. September '86, 20.30 Uhr, Mohren. Jon Hendricks, George Adams, Bill Hardman, Walter Davis Jun., Stafford James, and Cliff Barbaro."
Blue Concert Posters
This poster, for a tribute concert to the music of Thelonious Monk at the Jazz Festival Willisau, can be categorized a few ways. It’s one of the 17 posters we have by Swiss graphic designer Niklaus Troxler (a Willisau native and jazz lover who first organized the jazz festival in 1975). It’s also one of the...