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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Guerilla Feminism

Posted by Alex C-M Kelly, on Wednesday January 23, 2013

Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? is a poster designed by the Guerrilla Girls - a radical feminist collective – in order to draw attention to rampant discrimination against women artists in the curatorial collections of major museums. Legendary for their guerrilla tactics, gorilla masks and take-no-prisoners attitude, the Guerrilla Girls name names and point fingers with no apologies.

Guerrila Girls, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, poster, graphic design, Jean-August-Dominique Ingres, collage

Who is the Man Behind the Design?

Posted by Stacey Leonard, on Tuesday January 22, 2013

There is—literally—a man behind the design of the post office in Pieter Brattinga’s (1931-2004) De Man Achter de Vormgeving van de P.T.T. This poster is for a 1960 exhibition by the Dutch postal service, the PTT (then the Staatsbedrijf der Posterijen, Telegrafie en Telefonie; now the Koninklijke PTT Nederland). The PTT, founded in the nineteenth century, has promoted contemporary art since the 1920s through stamp designs and by sponsoring exhibitions.

Pieter Brattinga, Dutch graphic design, offset lithography, poster, graphic design, layering, Koninklijke PTT Nederland, Netherlands
De Man Achter de Vormgeving van de P.T.T. Pieter Brattinga

Meet Monsieur Jacquard

Posted by Adrienne Meyer, on Monday January 21, 2013

One of the first objects to enthrall me in the Cooper-Hewitt collection was a small double portrait which I casually dismissed as “just another engraving.” When I learned that this meticulously detailed image of French inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) and the machine he created was, remarkably, a woven piece of fabric…I was hooked. It was Jacquard himself who developed the technology used to weave the portrait: his eponymous loom, patented in 1805, was the world’s first automated machine for weaving intricate images into silk.

Joseph-Marie Jacquard, jacquard weaving, Michel-Marie Carquillat

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.