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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Alchemy In Situ

Posted by Pamela Lawton, on Saturday March 23, 2013

“The trip was … one of risk … no one is allowed to sketch alive there … an artist who ventured there was shot while attempting a sketch … I flung open my sketchbook and drew the scene roughly … we then dashed down the path and seized another view and so on sketching and running...”[1] Frederic Edwin Church thus describes snatching a sketch in Petra.

Frederic Edwin Church, landscape, Niagra Falls, Thomas Cole, Hudson River School

William Lescaze's Townhouse Blueprint: Creating a New Look for New York Residences

Posted by Rebecca McNamara, on Friday March 22, 2013

This blueprint in the Cooper-Hewitt collection depicts architect William Lescaze's radical and trendsetting four-story townhouse at 211 East 48th Street, New York. Little, if any, changes were made between this design—or between a sketch, also in the museum's collection—and the final structure, built in 1933–34.

William Lescaze, New York City, townhouse, Architecture, blueprint, drawing, Matthew Baird

Fly Catcher

Posted by Stephen H. Van Dyk, on Thursday March 21, 2013

Robert John Thornton (1768-1837) was a British physician and botanic enthusiast who published perhaps the most famous florilegium, or treatise on flowers, as a tribute to the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778).  It was aimed at wealthy amateur flower fanciers rather than scientists.

botanical illustration; Thornton, Robert; rare books; exotic plants;

Color in Combination

Posted by Maleyne Syracuse, on Wednesday March 20, 2013

Weaver and textile designer Dorothy Liebes had twin obsessions: texture and color, both exemplified by this sample from the museum’s collection.

Dorothy Liebes, weaving, Color, texture

Light Volumes

Posted by Kadie Yale, on Tuesday March 19, 2013

I grew up next to a large church whose expansive grounds and cemetery became a wonderland in my imagination. However, searching for ghosts and playing a variety of elaborate games of make-believe had nothing on what would happen to the walls of the church at night. Standing outside, the light burst through the stained glass windows, displaying intricate stories in bright colors. As a child, my friends and I would spend what felt like hours making up tales of heroism and basking in the rays of colored lights illuminating the ground around us.

Church, stained glass, Steven Holl, Architecture, chapel


Posted by Laurel McEuen, on Monday March 18, 2013

Asia Week  is in full swing!

An annual event in New York City, Asia Week began last Friday, March 15th and runs through this Saturday, March 23rd . In an effort to support and celebrate Asian art both in the city and across the nation, galleries, auction houses, museums and cultural institutions in New York  host sales, exhibitions, lectures and other special events.

China, rank badge, crane, textile, Asia

Whimsy and Shamrocks

Posted by Sarah D. Coffin, on Sunday March 17, 2013

A collector of English furniture once asked me if I recognized who might have made a chest of drawers he had purchased.  It had beautifully executed inlays and was in an early neo-classical style that appeared to say it was made in London. In fact, the inlays looked like the work of the firm of cabinetmakers Mayhew and Ince who produced very fine furniture there from about 1759-1800, much of which featured sophisticated inlays in the style popularized by architect Robert Adam, with whom they worked. However, there was more whimsy in the style of the inlays on the chest.

Adam, neo-classical, inlays, marquetry, pier table, honeysuckle, anthemion, palmetto, satinwood

Light Years

Posted by Ellen Lupton, on Saturday March 16, 2013Michael Bierut, Nicole Trice, Tobias Frere-Jones, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Ed Ruscha, Pentagram, Architectural League of New York, film, graphic design, poster

Ribbons and Bows

Posted by Sarah Donahue, on Friday March 15, 2013

Even today, in the twenty-first century, when we think of ribbons and bows we tend to think of girls, not boys.  This design from 1755, has both ribbons and bows, but was designed by an Englishman: Thomas Chippendale.  What is more, it was published in a book meant exclusively for men: The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director.  Chippendale’s publication was a pattern book with multiple designs for domestic objects such as chairs, beds, tall clocks, frames, and high boys – all prese

Thomas Chippendale, chairs, furniture, etching, rococo

Learning by Crocheting

Posted by Matilda McQuaid, on Thursday March 14, 2013

There is something very seductive about mathematical models and equations.  Whether it is their complexity and conciseness, orderly arrangement of symbols and numbers on the page, or their beauty as physical structures, they reflect the problem-solving process in action.   

crochet, math, Daina Taimina