Object of the Day

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Polka-dot design with a vertical orientation. Printed in shades of green on a white ground, the size of the dots varies, and each has the appearance of being "dropped" onto the page.
A More Fluid Polka Dot
“Drop” is from J. Abbott Miller’s second collection of wallpaper for Knoll Textiles called “The Ink Collection”. Based on Miller’s experiments with the liquid movement of ink, and how ink reacts as it moves across the surface of paper, each design has a random look but still maintains a feeling of control. “Drop” forms a...
High-backed lounge chair with bentwood elements forming continuous arms/legs; upholstered in grey wool.
Grasshopper Chair
Architect and designer, Eero Saarinen, was born in Finland and immigrated to the US with his family in 1923 when he was thirteen years old. His father, Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950), was also an architect and the founding director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.  His students included Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Schust...
Grey silk with cream embroidered clocks. The clocks have a design of potted painted trees on which peacocks are perched. Embroidered with pink and white silk, blue and yellow silk.
A Revolution in Stockings
Relatively little is known about this pair of men’s silk stockings.  The donor of the stockings, Richard Greenleaf, identified them as being French and dating from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.  One thing that we do know about them is that they were knitted on a machine; although we tend to associate the...
Photograph of face of man; skin covered with biomorphic trellis pattern. Upper right, starburst sticker that reads: STEFAN / SAGMEISTER / THINGS / I HAVE LEARNED / IN MY LIFE / SO FAR.
Life Lessons
The impetus for Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far came directly from a list in Stefan Sagmeister’s diary under the same title. Over the course of seven years, Sagmeister found unorthodox ways to create interactive installations in the global world that visualized the maxims catalogued in his diary. He used spaces traditionally...
A large medallion of pastoral scene. In foreground, young woman feeding pigeons, a lamb bedside her; ruined tower in distance. Enclosing framework of rococo scrolls and foliage. Garden tools, doves and roses. Printed in gold, green and apricot on slate-gray field.
Landscape Views
The Livingston is a pattern inspired by an earlier wallpaper design, and gets its name from the home in which the antique document was found. It is said the wallpaper fragments were scraped off the walls of the Livingston manor house in Catskill, New York and mailed to the Birge Company. The original design was...
Woven hanging of black linen with wide fringe at bottom, ornamented with feathers
Feathers and Linen: Lenore Tawney’s Woven Assemblage
In a 1971 article, Lenore Tawney’s studio was described as a “gymnasium sized” space filled with “clumps of projects in progress – feathers, egg shells, and delicate animal bones ready for inclusion” in the artist’s weavings and assemblages.[1] One can easily imagine Mourning Dove, pictured above, coalescing from these materials. Tawney is a revered figure...
A cubist composition of light shining through overlapping, transparent arches with the name "Saks-Fifth Avenue" beneath.
A Window Into the 1920s
In 1927, Adam Gimbel, President of Saks Fifth Avenue, commissioned the painter-turned-designer Donald Deskey to create a number of window displays, as well as covers for advertising brochures to rejuvenate the store’s image. This brochure cover Deskey sketched depicts an abstracted cubist landscape perhaps alluding to the bright open windows of Saks Fifth Avenue. Both...
Shaped open back with voluted top rail and two horizontal crossing members enclosing a verre églomisé panel bearing the arms of the Earl of Scarsdale (extinct 1735). Cabriole sharply raking rear legs, voluted at knees, and with moulded ankles and Dutch feet. Voluted cabriole front legs with gilded pewter mounts at knees; hoof feet. Gilded pewter mask in center of front seat rail. Slip seat.
Personalized Furniture with a Bit of Flash
While it is expected that many people have their monograms, names or other personal devices on stationery, towels, and sometimes porcelain, having personalized furniture is going several steps further.  There are examples of chairs with coats-of-arms carved into the crest rail, and side chairs from New York of ca 1742 with Robert and Margaret Beekman...
Oval picture of a young woman standing by a tomb beneath a weeping willow, surrounded by flowering sprays tied with ribbons. At the very bottom, an inscription and verse: Willamina Rine a daughter of Christian and Barbara Rine was born November 6th 1801 and Made this sampler at Mrs. Armstrong's School, Lancaster Teach me the measure of my Days ...Thou maker of my frame I would survey life's narrow space and learn how frail I am
Buried in our Churchyard
Born in 1801 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Willamina Rine was twelve when she stitched this sampler at Mrs. Armstrong’s school in 1813. The archives of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster reveal that her parents, Christian and Barbara, had several other children: Henrich, Christian, Veronica, Sophia, Martha, and Elizabeth. A Fanny Rine embroidered a sampler at...
Gathered blue drapery with lace edging in white. Blue ribbon caught with medallions along bottom edge; was probably meant to be cut out to use as chair rail. Both motifs are ornamented with white pearls and black scroll and bead design.
Drape the Walls
The great degree of realism achieved in this wallpaper border was created with the use of relatively few (about ten) colors. To achieve a true sense of depth in any given motif, be it a flower or drapery, the design needs to be printed in five to six different shades, with a different wood block...