Adrienne Meyer

Meet Monsieur Jacquard


One of the first objects to enthrall me in the Cooper-Hewitt collection was a small double portrait which I casually dismissed as “just another engraving.” When I learned that this meticulously detailed image of French inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) and the machine he created was, remarkably, a woven piece of fabric…I was hooked. It was Jacquard himself who developed the technology used to weave the portrait: his eponymous loom, patented in 1805, was the world’s first automated machine for weaving intricate images into silk.
Joseph-Marie Jacquard, jacquard weaving, Michel-Marie Carquillat

Bound to be Beautiful


One of the treasures of our collection, Wine Women and Song, has a fascinating history. This elaborately bound first edition of John Addington Symond’s 1884 English translation of 13th-century medieval drinking songs was produced in England in 1907 by bookbinders Sangorski & Sutcliffe, renowned for their intricate bindings ornamented with gilt work and precious stones.
rare books, book bindings, guilding, tooled leather, Arts & Crafts, wine, grapes, grape leaves, luxury, Sangorski & Sutcliffe, medieval songs, National Design Library

Beware of the Goblin Spider! A haunting children's illustrated book


Everyone loves a scary story, especially on Halloween. Noted writer and linguist Lafcadio Hearn’s 1910 English translation of the ancient Japanese ghost tale, The Goblin Spider, transports children of all ages to an exotic world of samurai warriors, haunted temples, and monstrous goblin spiders.
Illustrated Children's Books, Japanese folktales, wood block prints, Halloween, Smithsonian Libraries, kaidan, Lafcadio Hearn, Takejiro Hasegawa, spiders, Japan, illustrations