Exhibitions Archive

This archive includes past Cooper-Hewitt exhibitions dating back to 1975. Earlier exhibitions, including those set as early as the 1930s when the Museum was the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration, are being compiled and will be added at a future date. The Museum is currently closed for renovation, scheduled to re-open in 2014.

Past exhibitions can also be explored online through exhibition catalogs and related publications in our collection of historical publications.

Take Your Choice: Contemporary Product Design

On View: Tuesday, April 17, 1979 to Sunday, May 13, 1979

This exhibition is devoted to the connection between consumers and product innovation through an exploration of the impact production processes, materials, and product styling have on commercial appeal.

product design, Industrial Design, processes, materials, exhibitions


On View: Tuesday, April 10, 1979 to Sunday, May 20, 1979

Three hundred Japanese sword guards (tsuba) and decorative fittings for the Samurai sword are on view. Hand protectors and jewelry dating from the 17th century, worn by the warriors who used the swords, are also featured in this exhibition.

sword guards, sword fittings, swords, Japanese, tsuba, Japan, permanent collection, exhibitions


On View: Tuesday, April 10, 1979 to Sunday, May 20, 1979

Nineteenth-century Japanese stencils (kata-gami) used for dyeing textiles provide invaluable insights into the geometric forms, costumes, and figures used at that time—although the original fabrics are gone, the stencils remain! This exhibition also features stencil-dyed fabrics and photographs to help illustrate this textile printing process.

stencils, kata-gami, patterns, textile printing, paper, exhibitions

MA, Space/Time in Japan

On View: Tuesday, April 3, 1979 to Sunday, May 27, 1979

This exhibition, designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, consists of nine sections, each expressing an aspect of the ancient Japanese space/time concept of "Ma" through photographic essays, sculptures, and traditional structures, such as the teahouse and the Noh stage.

Japan, Arata Isozaki, Architecture, photography, sculpture, exhibitions

The Cooper-Hewitt Collection: Porcelain

On View: Tuesday, March 27, 1979 to Sunday, May 13, 1979

An inaugural exhibition of seventy-five items from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent porcelain collection. The exhibition traces the development of porcelain from the China's Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) to eighteenth-century Europe. German, French, Italian, Austrian, and English pieces are shown along with histories of the techniques utilized by each of the factories.

Porcelain, ceramics, decorative arts, permanent collection

Indelible Images: Contemporary Advertising Design

On View: Tuesday, February 6, 1979 to Tuesday, April 10, 1979

This exhibition features a selection of contemporary magazine advertisements, posters, and television commercials.

advertisement, advertising, graphic design, 20th century, posters, exhibitions

The Dream King: Ludwig II of Bavaria

On View: Tuesday, January 23, 1979 to Sunday, March 25, 1979

A selection of drawings and gouache designs for Ludwig II's castles and their contents, in addition to articles of furniture, metalwork, and ceramics. 

Organized jointly by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

19th century, architectural drawings, interiors, metalwork, ceramics, furniture, exhibitions

The Shopping Bag: Portable Graphic Art

On View: Saturday, December 9, 1978 to Saturday, January 27, 1979

The bandboxes and shopping bags on display from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's permanent collection reflect the development of consumer culture. Bandboxes of the 19th century, carry-alls without handles, were precursors to the shopping bags of today. The emergence of the shopping bag in the 20th century balanced the practical concerns of the consumer, the need to carry portable purchases, with the marketing interests of the store, which used the bag as a portable billboard. 

bandboxes, shopping bags, cardboard, paper, graphic design, ephemera, permanent collection, ch:exhibition=35350095

Vienna Moderne 1898—1918

On View: Tuesday, November 28, 1978 to Sunday, February 4, 1979

The first major exhibition of Viennese work from this period to be installed anywhere in the United States. Objects on view include furniture, glassware, ceramics, metalwork, textiles, graphic design, and photographs of interiors.

Organized by Sarah Campbell Blaffer Gallery of the University of Houston. Made possible by the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation of Houston and the Austrian Ministry for Science and Research.

vienna, furniture, glassware, ceramics, metalwork, textiles, graphic design, interiors, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349901

Artist's Postcards, Series II

On View: Tuesday, October 10, 1978 to Saturday, December 2, 1978

Fifty-one original postcard-sized works in a variety of media are on view, by painters, sculptors, photographers, poets, cartoonists, writers, filmmakers, architects, and dancers including Jane Freilicher, John Furnival, Joseph Goldyne, Martha Graham, Dick Higgins, David Hockney, Louis Kahn, Alex Katz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Wayne Thiebaud and Tom Wolfe.

postcards, art, exhibitions