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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Waste Not

Posted by Matilda McQuaid, on Sunday January 20, 2013

Resourcefulness has been a key component of Japanese life for centuries, and in design, one sees this most dramatically with materials and objects being repurposed, recycled, or reused.  The Japanese textile company, Nuno, founded in 1984, is constantly striving to integrate this ecological approach while continuing to create some of the most technologically innovative and beautiful contemporary textiles anywhere in the world.

Nuno, textile, silk, kibiso, Reiko Sudo

Something's Fishy about this Tureen

Posted by Terry Goldman, on Saturday January 19, 2013

My selected object was part of the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition, Rococo: the Continuing Curve 1730-2008. As a docent at Cooper-Hewitt, I remember joyous laughs of recognition as visitors on my tours spotted the New York artist Cindy Sherman's portrait as Madame de Pompadour replacing flowers in a cartouche surrounded by a warm pink known as Pompadour pink for the patron of the original 18th-century service on which this is based.

Madame de Pompadour, Cindy Sherman, Sèvres, Limoges, Artes Magnes, Porcelain, rococo

Winnie the Pooh frieze

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Friday January 18, 2013

This children’s frieze captures the adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. This is a woodblock print and was probably produced at the same time as the book, which was written by A.A. Milne in 1926 and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. The frieze contains all of the original illustrations from the chapter on Christopher Robin’s Expotition to the North Pole. The illustrations are lined up along the length of the frieze, softly colored, and joined together by an idyllic landscape. This frieze is 40 ft long with no repeat.

wallpaper, frieze, landscape, Pooh bear, child

Interactive wallpaper

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Thursday January 17, 2013

Frames is a new rendition of an old idea in children's wallpaper. While it follows in the tradition of interactive wallpapers designed for children, it is attractive and has a very strong graphic presence even as purchased. It doesn’t need the addition of artwork to be beautiful. Frames invites children of all ages to draw pictures or paste their favorite photos within the frames. The paper was cleverly designed so it can be installed horizontally as a border at any child-friendly height or vertically, repeating in the usual fashion.

wallpaper, interactive, frames, print room

A Work By Wendell Castle

Posted by Cynthia Trope, on Tuesday January 15, 2013

This chest, by twentieth-century American designer/craftsman Wendell Castle is an outstanding example of the American studio furniture movement.

chest, stereo cabinet, Wendell Castle, studio craft, furniture, wood, laminated wood, Wharton Esherick, American

This is Not a Tire

Posted by Lucy Commoner, on Monday January 14, 2013

At first glance, it is difficult to know how to identify the material composition of this folding fan. The material is black and stiff with a drilled pattern of open decorative elements and a raised design on the handle. On closer examination, the words, “Man’f Company Lambertville Goodyear Patent" can be seen stamped into the top portion of the handle.

fan, rubber, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, chicle, Hella Jongerius, vulcanization
Folding cockade fan

Simple Yet Bold

Posted by Stephanie Keating, on Sunday January 13, 2013

Born on today's date in 1930, Ikko Tanaka was one of the giants of Japanese graphic design in the second half of the twentieth century. Tanaka began designing posters in 1954 and was renowned for his ability to synthesize both Japanese and Western aesthetics. His name became synonymous with straightforward, impressive designs recognizable for their universality.

Ikko Tanaka, Pieter Brattinga, Japanese graphic design, Dutch graphic design, offset lithography, poster, geometry, Netherlands, graphic design
Ontwerpen van Tanaka, Ikko. Pieter Brattinga.

From the home of mustard comes another tale...

Posted by Sarah D. Coffin, on Saturday January 12, 2013

It is hard to imagine a time when spices were so precious that their containers were designed as jewelry or a rare accessory. Yet, that is what this pomander is; it's name is derived from the French, pomum ambrae, referring to perfumes and perfumed ointment.

pomander, spices, scents, allegories, Dijon, mustard, silver, silverwork
Silver pomander

A Chair for the American Family

Posted by Alison Charny, on Friday January 11, 2013

In 1951, Danish architect and designer Finn Juhl brought Danish Modernism to forefront of American consciousness. He did so with his interior for the “Good Design” Exhibition in Chicago, as well his design for the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the UN headquarters in New York, which he completed the following year. However, Juhl’s sculptural forms, praised as the height of modern design, were not only placed on display in prominent American arenas but were also integrated into American homes, bringing  European design to the average American consumer.

Finn Juhl, Danish Modernism, America, mass production, chair, Kaare Klint, Bauhaus, Baker Modern, Niels Vodder

The Power Underground

Posted by Maxwell Tielman, on Thursday January 10, 2013

When it was introduced to London in the 19th century, the first underground railway was revolutionary. Able to provide quick, uninterrupted travel for commuters and easy access to the bustling city from the suburbs, the London Underground promised a better, more efficient future. It would take some convincing, however, to get the general public to hop onboard. People were understandably skeptical of the new technological marvel—after all, the idea of loud, smoky locomotives navigating the dank, dark circuitry of London’s underbelly wasn’t particularly appetizing.

London Underground, Frank Pick, E. McKnight Kauffer, poster, advertisement, graphic design, Man Ray, Graham Sutherland, London, travel
1930 London Underground poster by E. McKnight Kauffer