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 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. 

An elegant form of air purification

Posted by Andrea Lipps, on Wednesday June 05, 2013

The ProSolve 370e system consists of modular architectural tiles coated with titanium dioxide that, when activated by daylight, neutralizes nitrogen oxides—harmful for their effect on the respiratory system, acid rain, and ozone depletion—in the surrounding environment. While the antimicrobial and air-purifying effects of titanium dioxide have been known for years, it is the form and application of ProSolve that is particularly innovative.

Elegant Embellishments, sustainability, Architecture, air purification, national design triennial

Balloon Mania

Posted by Megan Elevado, on Tuesday June 04, 2013

On August 27, 1783, the skies above the French commune of Gonesse were briefly darkened by a floating figure. The peasants, filled with fear by the unusual sight, shot down the hovering object and attacked it with pitchforks because they believed it was a monster. The “monster” was actually a hot air balloon. This scene of armed farmers surrounding a deflated balloon is one of the vignettes depicted on Le Ballon de Gonesse, a commemorative textile that captures the popularity of balloons in late eighteenth-century France. 

hot air balloons, Jean-Baptiste Marie Huet

O Love, Remember Me

Posted by Jennifer Johnson, on Monday June 03, 2013

Today marks the 138th wedding anniversary of Margaret and John Hoog, an event memorialized in this unusual sampler. While the majority of sampler makers were schoolgirls working to complete their needlework education, Margaret Hoog took needle in hand to commemorate her 1875 marriage. In the center of the sampler, instead of the usual alphabets, verse, or family history, she stitched a poignant message to her husband: “John the Hoog/O Love/Remember me/Margaret Hoog/Married 1875 June 3.”

sampler, immigration, marriage

A Crystal Palace

Posted by Stephen H. Van Dyk, on Sunday June 02, 2013

English publishers William Robert Dickinson (1815-1887), Lowes Cato Dickinson (1819-1908) and Gilbert Bell Dickinson (1825-1908) received a royal commission to compile this colorful folio commemorating Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations held in Hyde Park, London May to October, 1851. The folio includes 55 chromolithographic plates depicting the building and exhibitions of the fair reproduced from paintings by English watercolorists and lithographers Joseph Nash (1809-1878) and Louis Haghe (1806-1885) and Scottish painter David Roberts (1796-1864).

Smithsonian Libraries; World's Fairs; Crystal Palace; Exhibition Hall; Architecture -19th century

Functional Sculpture

Posted by Cynthia Trope, on Saturday June 01, 2013

Utilitarian object? Small-scale abstract sculpture? Both. When I first had the opportunity to investigate this lamp close up, I was struck by the way it’s form, composed of the simplest geometric shapes—circle, sphere, cylinder, cube, seemed to articulate a perfect balance between the functional and the artistic.

Piano lamp, Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud, W. H. Gispen, De Stijl, Bauhaus

The Glamour of the Gilded Age

Posted by Joanna Burgess, on Friday May 31, 2013

The end of the American Civil War saw the rise of the Gilded Age. A time of opulence for some and hardship for many, this era reached its heyday towards the end of the 1890s. From the salons and opera houses of Paris to the halls of the fine houses that lined Fifth Avenue, women’s fashions took a turn toward the modern. Where old and new money, adorned in fine silks and exquisitely beaded attire rubbed shoulders over fine wine and respectable conversation, women’s fashion blossomed.

Gilded Age, fan, putti

Discover Architecture- Carry A Magnet!

Posted by Elizabeth Broman, on Thursday May 30, 2013

On a long ago walking tour of downtown New York, I was charmed and mystified to see people pulling refrigerator magnets or little alphabet letters out of their pockets and having them cling to the deceptively ordinary front of a building! They stuck!

Cast iron architecture, Daniel Badger, Architectural Iron Works of the city of New York, Illustrations of iron architecture, Soho Cast Iron District, cast iron, Smithsonian Libraries, National Design Library
Illustrations of iron architecture by Daniel Badger