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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Capturing the Majesty of Niagara Falls on Wallpaper

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Saturday June 15, 2013

This view of Niagara Falls is one scene from the scenic wallpaper Views of North America first produced by the French firm Zuber et Cie in 1834. This scenic contains 32 panels and shows some of the natural wonders of the continent: New York bay, Boston harbor, West Point, & the natural bridge of Virginia. Scenic wallpapers were introduced around 1804 and remained popular with new designs being introduced until 1865. Zuber is still printing a number of these early designs today, using the original woodblocks.

wallpaper, scenic, panorama, Niagara Falls, Zuber, block print


Posted by Matilda McQuaid, on Friday June 14, 2013

Over the last fifteen years I have been fortunate enough to visit Japan a number of times and usually with the goal of researching and finding textiles for exhibitions.  There have been many textile discoveries, but more important has been my privilege to meet the extraordinary textile makers.  These encounters with the artists and designers at their studios, factories or homes have helped me to understand the context for their work and to appreciate what inspires them and why they chose textiles as their medium of choice.

indigo, shibori, tie-dye, Japan

Transform Your Bathing Experience

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Friday June 14, 2013

This is a scenic wallpaper designed for your bathroom. Called Sea Beauties, this was lithograph printed in Germany around 1930. The lithograph printing gives it a very soft look, almost like a watercolor, and because it is printed with oils is water resistant. Washable wallpapers as we know them today were not developed until 1934 and lithograph prints were one of the early wipeable papers. This set is composed of three panels, each 40 inches wide by over five feet high.

bathroom, fish, underwater, bathing, water, wallpaper

Elevating the Everyday

Posted by Andrea Lipps, on Thursday June 13, 2013

In the hands of Viennese glass firm J. & L. Lobmeyr, drinking a glass of water becomes a sensual ritual.

J. & L. Lobmeyr, POLKA, Glass, muslin glass

A Puzzling Order

Posted by Maleyne Syracuse, on Wednesday June 12, 2013

Anni Albers used her art to introduce order and clarity into an otherwise unstable and chaotic world.  She grew up in Berlin during World War I and in 1933 was forced to leave Germany for the US after the Nazis came to power and closed the Bauhaus where she and her husband, Josef Albers, were teaching. She had joined the Bauhaus as a student in 1922. There she studied weaving and is best known for her woven art, produced over a weaving career of almost fifty years.  

Anni Albers, Knoll Textiles, Bauhaus, pattern

Stairway to Modernism: Thérèse Bonney Collection

Posted by Jen Cohlman Bracchi, on Tuesday June 11, 2013

Upon first glance it is difficult to tell if we are looking up or down this spiral staircase.  Clean lines intersect with natural light, casting shadows that create a deceptive flattening effect from this vantage point. What appear to be stairs descending counterclockwise with no railing is actually the underside of the staircase designed to mimic the stairs above.   

Art Deco, modernism, Robert Mallet-Stevens, paris, Architecture, staircase, photograph
spiral staircase, black and white photograph

Flute song in silver

Posted by Sarah Coffin, on Monday June 10, 2013


silver, fluting, Paul Revere, neo-classicism, teapots, bowl, josef hoffmann, Wiener Werkstätte

A Modern Bird

Posted by Jennifer Lema, on Saturday June 08, 2013

This art-deco style wallcovering was created in the early twentieth century in France. It was first featured as an advertisement for its importer, W.H.S.  Lloyd Co., in the March 1930 edition of House Beautiful. W.H.S.  Lloyd Co. was a significant importer of English, French and Japanese wall hangings, so they definitely had a distinct eye for collecting beautiful wallcoverings around the world.  Literally translated into the “Modern Bird”, this wallcovering is a premier example of the French modern movement.

bird, modern, wallpaper, oiseau, moderne, machine print, Art Deco

Reforming Play time -a Chair for Men

Posted by Sarah Coffin, on Friday June 07, 2013

I have always found the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh to be among the most subtly inspiring and innovative works that I have seen.  Before I experienced the take-your-breath-away effect of seeing the whole of a Willow Tea room installed in a Mackintosh exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in 1996, I was already drawn to individual elongated chairs, textiles and other design objects.

chair, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Mary MacDonald, May MacDonald, Miss Cranston, Argyle Street, Tea rooms, billiards, smoking, oak

Everyday I'm #DrawArt-ing

Posted by Paige Dansinger, on Thursday June 06, 2013

Paige Dansinger is an artist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We first met Paige at the 2012 Museum Computer Network conference in Seattle. Since meeting Paige we have been following her #DrawArt project which attempts to create a new understanding of art in a context that is both online and accessible by many. At Cooper-Hewitt we are always looking for ways to make our collection more accessible and so we were really pleased when Paige started to draw our Object of the Day series.