Object of the Day

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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...
Oval tray with raised and everted rim. Decorated with outer border of interlaced triangular geometric motifs in lapis blue against brown background, surrounded by thin gold rims; then a border of tooled gilding with 16 roundels painted in polychrome of exotic birds, alternating with the smaller roundels with butterflies. Around central oval a wide band of trompe-l'oeil coffering. Center painted with arrangement of seashells, coral, and pearls against a faux marble background.
Like Father, Like Son
This oval tray represents the unique collaborative effort between Alexandre Brongniart, the director of Sèvres appointed in 1800, and his father, the designer Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart. The younger Brongniart’s passion for the natural world is reflected by the scientific precision of the biological species represented in finely painted enamel. Small roundels of exotic birds and butterflies...
Drawing of a fantasy landscape with flying boats
When Ships Fly
Ships, precariously tethered to mountain tops by garlands, hover over a landscape of pure fantasy in this graphite drawing by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808).  Pillement was known for his imaginative prints featuring chinoiserie designs that were in essence European variants of Japanese and Chinese motifs. Pillement was a prolific artist who operated in...
fND1489A331963plateVIII-1
Mirror, mirror on the wall; which is the bluest of them all?
Everyone has a favorite color, but how often are our conscious thoughts trained on those inclinations for various tints and hues? Our careless observation of the essentials of design was of paramount importance to Josef Albers, a German artist and color theorist whose lessons at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale focused on overcoming...