Emily Shapiro

Untraditional Art Deco


If, at first glance, this textile by Thomas Lamb seems to have a mythical and classical reference at its core, that’s because it does. It may seem strange for a mid-1920s textile to embrace Diana the Huntress as its subject matter, when Art Deco, with its focus on skyscrapers and modern materials, was rapidly becoming the style of the age. But don’t be too quick to judge. This textile actually speaks largely to the period from whence it came, including the designer’s use of Diana as his central figure.
Thomas Lamb, Art Deco, Diana the Huntress, mythology

The Father of Swedish Modern Design


When I think of modern design, a joyful outburst of color and pattern is not what springs to mind. Instead, I imagine an all-white room decorated with highly functional, minimalist chairs and couches. Everything is simple and streamlined, in sharp, crisp lines and primary colors.
Scandinavian modern design, Josef Frank, Svenkst Tenn

John Piper, Work Across Media


John Piper, a well-known British painter and author, was most famous for his watercolor paintings of the English landscape. A lover of English architecture, particularly churches, Piper was instrumental in promoting a romanticized English countryside in an attempt to establish a sense of national identity. It wasn’t until he was appointed official artist for his home country during World War II that Piper was able to truly make his mark.  In November 1940, the painter was sent to the city of Coventry to record the shell of its cathedral after an air raid left the city in ruins.
John Piper, Coventry Cathedral, watercolor, Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy

Industry vs. Craft


Dutch Designer Hella Jongerius has dedicated her career to juxtaposing seemingly contradictory themes in her work: industry and craft, high and low tech, traditional and contemporary influences and modes of creation. She has been featured in exhibitions here at the Cooper-Hewitt, as well as at MoMA and the Design Museum in London, among others.
textiles, Hella Jongerius, mass customization, upholstery