Object of the Day

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German Chicks
This adorable wallpaper was meant for a child’s room, and came to the museum within a collection of samples by German manufacturer Marburger Tapetenfabrik. In creating this pattern the designer successfully manipulated a faddish aesthetic into something that remains pleasing and relevant well beyond its manufacture date. Little birds are represented by blocks of color...
Stomacher, France or Italy, mid-18th century, silk embroidered with metallic yarns, Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma Greenleaf, 1962-52-16
Removable and Reusable
The stomacher was a necessary element of a woman’s daily wardrobe in the eighteenth century. Often elaborately decorated with embroidery, ribbon bows, and metal threads, the triangular shaped accessory covered the open front of the robe à la française. As the fundamental style of dress during this period, these gowns were characterized by their front...
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Flitter Frieze
Robert Graves Co. was founded by a Brooklyn-based Irish immigrant, and was one of the most successful wallpaper manufacturies in the United States from the 1860s to the 1920s. This wallpaper frieze was made by the company c. 1905-1915, and would likely have been marketed with a coordinating sidewall and ceiling paper. It features a...
1985-76-1
Gilded Goblet
This gilded goblet was made for a special dinner in honor of Andrew Carnegie given by the Engineers’ Club of New York on December 9, 1907. The name of the club and the date of the dinner can be seen along the edge of the goblet’s base. Carnegie had donated $450,000 for the organization’s new...
A drawing of a tomb with a sarcophagus in a rounded-arch niche. A robed figure of Death stands before the sarcophagus holding a smoking lamp. The tomb is flanked by 2 recumbent lions carved in stone.
Simply Macabre
In this atmospheric drawing, the robed figure of Death holds a smoking brazier and presides over a tomb cast in a gray wash. Stark shadows describe the geometric forms of a massive sarcophagus and sepulchral niche. The simplicity of the somber interior evokes the proportions of Egyptian architecture, as well as that ancient culture’s fascination with death. Louis-Jean...
Handkerchief, USA, ca. 1952, screen printed cotton, Gift of Daren Pierce, 1982-79-1.
Who Do You Like?
Tammis Keefe (American, 1913-1960) was an influential mid-century textile designer best known for her playful designs, often printed with humorous slogans. One dishtowel in the museum collection features fire engines and the words, “Something’s Burning!,” (1982-79-6) and another, owls and the words “whoooos for dinner” (1982-79-12). Keefe designed this handkerchief with the slogan “I like...
Textile, Circle Square II, Japan, ca. 1995–98,  designed by Hideko Takahashi, triple-layered plain weave in wool, cut, felted, and dyed, Gift of The Museum of Modern Art, courtesy of the designer, 2002-17-1.
Triple Layers and Pockets
Circle Square II, designed by Hideko Takahashi in 1995, exemplifies varied experiments with the shrinking and cutting of a triple-layered cloth resulting in what seems to be a single layer with appliquéd pockets. Takahashi describes her three-layer textiles as a “two-layer cake.” She distinguishes the alternating blue-and-white colored layers that comprise the “cake” by cutting...
1975-32-10
A Touch of Glass
This slender bud vase by Louis Comfort Tiffany is an exquisite example of the favrile glass technique that the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company developed in the last decade of the nineteenth century. While Louis C. Tiffany experimented with glassmaking leading up to this time, he used outside suppliers to provide him with the production...
On beige background, in black, a human skull appears to be flying toward the viewer with outspread eagle wings. Behind him follows an innumerable "flock" of text--a repetition of the word "ptaki" (birds) in varying fonts of varying sizes. At the top, left of center, the inscription "niesamowity film / ALFREDA HITCOCKA / wykonawcy: Rod Taylor / "Tippi" Hedren Jessica Tandy / Suzanne Pieshette / produkcja: Hitchcock-Universal".
Fear and Flight
Constraints are often said to offer the best conditions for creativity. During the communist era, Polish graphics flourished. Due to the lack of external influences, poster designers needed to create their own isolated yet diverse visual language.[1] Cut off from Western iconography, these creatives were tasked with advertising the few American films that penetrated the...