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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Dude Never Would Be Missed

Posted by Kimberly Randall, on Sunday December 30, 2012

While researching one of our printer-dyer record books for the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition Multiple Choice: From Sample to Product, I discovered a curious fabric swatch on page 105.

record book, textile printing, swatches, fabric, American, opera, 19th century
Printer-Dyer Record Book, 1885

Fresco Papers

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Saturday December 29, 2012

Scenic wallpapers were the epitome of block-printed wallpapers, requiring thousands of wood blocks to print a non-repeating scene that could wrap a room in a continuous landscape view. Scenic wallpapers were introduced around 1804 and remained popular as new scenes were added until the 1860s. Around the 1840s, a new style emerged that altered the scenic landscape format through the introduction of decors, also known as fresco papers.

Alpine, cow, wallcovering, fresco, decor, landscapes
L’Orage. Scene created by Robert Eberle

Like a Patchwork of Light

Posted by Cynthia Trope, on Friday December 28, 2012

Murano, an island located just north of Venice, Italy, in the Laguna Veneta, has been a glass-making center since the late 13th century. This cheerfully colorful pezzato (dappled) vase was produced by the Venini Glassworks of Murano. Founded by Paulo Venini in 1925, the firm retained the great technical traditions of Venetian glass-working methods while developing a new aesthetic, and has been credited with reviving Venetian glass design in the 20th century.

Glass, Venini, Fulvio Bianconi, Murano, Venice, Italy, pezzato
Pezzato vase designed by Fulvio Bianconi

Radio City Music Hall: A Celebration of American Modern Design

Posted by Beth Ram, on Thursday December 27, 2012

Donald Deskey, Radio City Music Hall, Industrial Design, Bauhaus, Samuel Rothafel, rococo, carpet design, entertainment, drawing, Great Depression, New York City
Radio City Music Hall: Carpet Design: Still Life with Violins and Wine Glasses

Eco-friendly Wallcovering

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Wednesday December 26, 2012

Collecting wallcoverings that are environmentally friendly is an area of great interest to me. Whether made from renewable resources or recycled materials, I appreciate when beautiful things can be made without adding undue stress on the environment. Made from 100% pre- and post-consumer recycled materials, the V2 wall tile by MIO, a company that creates sustainable and socially responsible products, is one of the first environmentally-friendly wallcoverings I discovered.

wallcovering, tile, embossed, recycle
V2 wall tile designed by MIO

Holiday Shopping

Posted by Allison Grimes, on Tuesday December 25, 2012

In 1961, with the inauguration of its storewide import fairs, Bloomingdale’s commissioned its first series of designer bags to omit the store’s name. The department store became known for its “retail theater,” engaging leading artists, photographers, graphic designers, and fashion designers to create accompanying bags for special promotions.

shopping bags, graphic design, Holiday, Christmas, folk art, John Jay, Bloomingdale's, Karen Jakobsen, New York City, retail
Bloomingdale's: Christmas 1982

Citizen Architect

Posted by Cynthia E. Smith, on Sunday December 23, 2012

“All architects expect and hope that their work will act as a servant in some sense for humanity–to make a better world. This is a search we should always be undertaking.” —Samuel Mockbee

Samuel Mockbee, D.K. Ruth, Rural Studio, Alabama, Mississippi, Auburn University, Architecture, residential, built environments, low-cost housing, cameras, film, recycled wood, architectural drawings
Butterfly House: Concept Sketches for Rural Studio

Echoes of Techno

Posted by Pamela Lawton, on Saturday December 22, 2012

In Niklaus Troxler’s abstraction, green and yellow bands pulsate on black. Rectangular slivers of shapes draw the viewer across and down. Diagonal paths form along the way. Reinforced by its title, Echoes of Techno, the image emits rhythm and sound, progressing over time.

Niklaus Troxler, jazz, posters, New York City, Jazz Willisau, Switzerland, techno, graphic design
Echoes of Techno by Niklaus Troxler


Posted by Maxwell Tielman, on Friday December 21, 2012

“Work? It’s just serious play,” Saul Bass remarked in a 1993 interview. Indeed, Saul Bass’s marvelous career, which spanned from the 1930s until his death in 1996, is defined by his trademark wit, humor, and playfulness. Whether it was in movie posters, billboards, brand identities, or packaging design, Bass always injected his work with a delightful energy and intelligence, quite remarkable given the distilled simplicity of his work.

Saul Bass, poster, graphic design, Arts Students League, Bauhaus, Paul Rand, Alvin Lustig, New York City, film, Judaism
Exodus by Saul Bass

Andean woman’s mantle

Posted by Elena Phipps, on Thursday December 20, 2012

This beautiful cloth is a woman’s shoulder mantle, called a lliclla in the Quechua language of the Inca Empire, and was made during the colonial period of Peru. A perfect blend of the cross-cultural elements of the 16th- and 17th-century era of global trade, the Chinese silk and Spanish silver threads are woven with Inca techniques and design motifs.

textiles, woven, weaving, thread, Peru, Inca, Andes
Peruvian mantle 16th–17th century