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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Art Deco: Cubism and Classical Tradition

Posted by Terry Ryan, on Wednesday March 06, 2013

If  c.1900 - 1914 the international avant-garde held sway over the cultural life of Paris, the period immediately following World War I -- often referred to as the "return to order" --  saw a renewal of French cultural values -- that is, "tradition" and, of course, "Classicism."  When these values in design were touched by the lingering spirit of the avant-garde, the result was one of the most successful and admired styles of the 20th century:  Art Deco.

Terry Ryan, Art Deco, Louis Sue, Andre Mare, Architectures, National Design Library, Cubism, La Compagnie dea Arts Francais, Paul Valery
Architectures by Sue et Mare, Tome Premier

The Union Forever

Posted by Susan Brown, on Monday March 04, 2013

Today marks the 148th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, which closed “With malice toward none, with charity for all… let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds...” This delicate design of floral wreaths encircling womanly hands clasped in friendship seems to embody the ideal of reconciliation set forth by the President as he entered his second term of office, just a few weeks before his assassination.

Abraham Lincoln, abolition, Civil War, campaigns, Lincoln’s second inaugural

Roche Mail

Posted by Stephen H. Van Dyk, on Sunday March 03, 2013

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), a painter of flora and fauna, was one of the first naturalists to have observed insects directly from nature.  She was a pioneer in the study of how caterpillars become butterflies and moths, which was still a mystery at the time. Her large folio volume http://archive.org/details/Metamorphosisin00Meri  depicting on its first plate Cockroaches on a Flowering Pineapple (above), was considered the most outstanding work on insects of its day. 

botanical illustration, insects, U.S. postal stamps, Maria Sibylla Merian

Pulsating Life

Posted by Alison Charny, on Saturday March 02, 2013

Gunta (Aldegunde) Stölzl is known for her weaving and teaching at the Bauhaus. Her compelling textile designs, which play on line and color, appeal as independent artworks in themselves.

Gunta (Aldegunde) Stölzl, Bauhaus, textile design, drawing, watercolor, World War I, Germany, Color

Amusing and Decorative Wallpaper

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Friday March 01, 2013

While Steinberg trained as an architect he is best known for his satirical cartoons in The New Yorker. He began drawing shortly after enrolling in college and had his first cartoon published in The New Yorker in 1941, and even after joining the US Navy in 1943 he continued sending in cartoons from his various stations across Europe. Over the span of his career he was given 85 covers and had 642 illustrations published in The New Yorker.

Steinberg, horses, wallpaper, circus, military, uniform

Cushy Cardboard

Posted by Cynthia Trope, on Thursday February 28, 2013


Frank O. Gehry, chaise longue, New City Editions, cardboard, Architect-designed furniture

Looking into the Future

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Wednesday February 27, 2013

I have always been fascinated by these wallpapers with flying space ships and astronaut papers designed for boys in the 1950s. With their scenes of lunar landings and astronauts charting their progress, they really were looking to the future. Printed in 1954 this paper pre-dates Sputnik, the Soviet Union’s successful launch of the world’s first satellite in 1957, and the first walk on the moon by Neil Armstrong in 1969. This is one of many wallpapers featuring space ships and astronauts designed for boys in the 1950s.

wallpaper, outer space, astronaut, moon, lunar

Sea of Mystery

Posted by Alison Charny, on Tuesday February 26, 2013

This design for a stained glass window of a mermaid beneath the sea was commissioned by Associated Artists (the decorating firm of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Candace Wheeler, with (at times) Samuel Colman and Lockwood de Forest) for the Manhattan home of Wells Fargo President Ashbel H.

Elihu Vedder, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Candace Wheeler, Samuel Colman, Lockwood de Forest, Associated Artists, New York, stained glass, drawing

The Wikipedians are coming and we've opened the doors

Posted by Micah Walter, on Monday February 25, 2013

One of the main goals with our new collections website has been to create connections between the Cooper-Hewitt collection and the rest of the world that already exist out on the Internet. Wikipedia is a key part of that world, and Wikipedia is becoming more 'museum-friendly' every day.

A Busman’s Holiday

Posted by Gail S. Davidson, on Sunday February 24, 2013

Winslow Homer and his brother Charles Savage Homer Jr.

Winslow Homer, Charles Savage Homer Jr., Quebec, Canada, fishing, Lake St. George, watercolor