Object of the Day

Discover a different object from the Museum’s collection every day of the week!

Museum curators, conservators, and educators, as well as design enthusiasts like our teen Design Scholars, docents, and Master’s students, are sharing their favorite objects from Cooper-Hewitt’s incredible collection.

Many of these objects will be featured in the expanded collection galleries when Cooper-Hewitt reopens in 2014. Until then, “Object of the Day” is your uniquely-curated corner of the Museum!

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A Conscious Shift from French Tradition

Posted by Carly Lewis, on Wednesday December 04, 2013

Part of an iconic collection of designs known as the Americana Prints, It, with its typographic subject and nod to cubism, represents a conscious shift away from traditional French silk design. French manufacturers had long dominated the silk industry, while American silk producers got by hiring artisans to merely copy French designs. Americana Prints intended to challenge that system.

silk, Americana, silk printing, Paris Exposition, Kneeland Greene, jazz

Guimard Embroidery Sample

Posted by Kimberly Randall, on Tuesday December 03, 2013

Hector Guimard, embroidery, sample

Sustainability, from a National Design Award winner

Posted by Gail Davidson, on Monday December 02, 2013

Paula Scher—the 2013 National Design Award winner for Communication Design—along with Marion Bantjes and Christopher Niemann have produced the first three in a series of twelve posters promoting the concept of Sustainability. The series, commissioned and art directed by William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand of Winterhouse Publications, features the interpretation of sustainability into conceptual graphic design.

sustainability, poster, Paula Scher, National Design Awards, Jessica Helfand, William Drenttel

A tablecloth for 'easier living'

Posted by Matilda McQuaid, on Sunday December 01, 2013

Russel Wright was one of the most important pioneers in American design, especially in his efforts to revolutionize how people live and relate to their domestic environment. As Donald Albrecht wrote in his 2001 exhibition Russel Wright: Creating American Lifestyle, Wright’s “inexpensive, mass produced dinnerware, furniture, appliances, and textiles were not only visually and technically innovative but were also the tools to achieve his concept of ‘easier living’, a unique American lifestyle that was gracious yet contemporary and informal.”

Russel Wright, Simtex, good design, tablecloth, domestic


Posted by Susan Brown, on Saturday November 30, 2013

The London-based design studio Wallace Sewell was established by Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell after graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1990. Both women trained as weavers, and all of their products are designed by hand on the loom. The fabrics are then woven on power looms, with careful attention given to maintaining the qualities of a hand-weave. All of their yarns are sourced from British companies, and are woven at a mill in Lancashire. The studio also works with a finisher in Yorkshire.

blanket, Wallace Sewell, Royal College of Art, weaver

More legible highway signage

Posted by Gail Davidson, on Friday November 29, 2013

The Clearview typeface is a beautiful example of the way design helps to improve people's daily lives. A product of the design team of Donald Meeker and Chris O'Hara from Meeker Associates and type designer James Montalbano of Terminal Design, the Clearview project seeks to improve the readability of highway signage for drivers, especially those over sixty five, who constitute roughly one sixth of the driving public.

Donald Meeker, Chris O'Hara, James Montalbano, Terminal Design, TYPEFACE, font, legibility

Boat Race Day

Posted by Elizabeth Chase, on Wednesday November 27, 2013

The theme of travel as expressed through ship and boat motifs on ceramics was very popular in early twentieth-century England. Eric William Ravilious was a prolific designer of this period whose work reflected this practice. Ravilious, who studied engraving, illustration, color printing, and mural painting, took over the legendary firm of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, at Etruria in Staffordshire, in the 1930s. His work for Wedgwood included designs for commemorative wares, and also incorporated patterns for dinner and tea ware, lemonade sets, and nursery ware.

bowl, travel, Eric William Ravilious, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons


Posted by Gail Davidson, on Tuesday November 26, 2013

Visuele Communicatie Nederland (Visual Communications in the Netherlands) is one of designer Wim Crouwel’s best posters, created in 1969 for an Art Directors Club Annual exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. The Stedelijk Museum has been one of Crouwel's major clients. Trained as a painter at the Minerva Academy in his home town of Groningen, and at the Kunsthijverheids onderwijs in Amsterdam, Crouwel started his professional life working on exhibition design for Bedroeders Enderberg, Amsterdam.

A 20th-century scenic paper

Posted by Greg Herringshaw, on Monday November 25, 2013

La Côte de Villefranche is a beautiful example of a 20th century scenic wallpaper. Designed in 1929, La Côte continues the theme of early 19th century scenic papers by showing villagers at work and at play in front of a majestic harbor. It contains fishing boats, tall ships and ancient ruins, elements much desired in the scenic wallpapers printed one hundred years earlier. This scenic was printed with a relatively small number of wood blocks and the height of the imagery is quite low to accommodate the lower ceiling heights of more modern structures.

scenic, wallcovering, Zuber, block print, Colonial Revival

Ward Bennett's approach to designing

Posted by Gail Davidson, on Sunday November 24, 2013

This drawing, by American designer Ward Bennett, shows the designer's mind at work for objects in a variety of media during the initial stages of creation. Here, Bennett has conceived an ambitious range of objects including cookware, kitchen utensils, and glassware.

Ward Bennett, design process, drawing, utensils, glassware, cookware