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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Collections Candy: Very Pinteresting!

Posted by Katie Shelly, on Thursday January 03, 2013

If you're not familiar with Pinterest, let me try to paint the picture a bit for you. It's a pretty low-commitment social networking site with a simple signup process and an easy-to-use interface. The logo is swirly and red like a peppermint candy.

Pinterest, social media, collections, Collectors and collecting
Pinterest activity showing Cooper-Hewitt's collection objects

Mod Metropolis

Posted by Pamela Lawton, on Wednesday January 02, 2013

“There are perfectly sober people who will tell you they have seen high buildings shimmy.”

“(Modern buildings) show their best to their devotees… (who) will point out to you a score of fleeting expressions in a façade.”
Orrick Johns. “What the Modish Building Will Wear.”
New York Times, Oct. 4, 1925.

Hugh Ferriss, Architecture, New York City, drawing, conté, Pamela Lawton
Study for Maximum Mass by Hugh Ferriss

Trompe l'oeil Wallpaper Frieze

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Tuesday January 01, 2013

I have always been captivated by the realism and voluptuousness of this frieze. This trompe l’oeil design, with its drapery swags, ostrich plumes, jewels, and tassels, is an over-the-top depiction of luxury materials. The attention to detail required to bring this degree of realism to light is exemplary. The drapery swags are flocked, then overprinted with several colors to create highlights and shadows that better capture the look of silk velvet.

wallpaper, frieze, drapery, passementerie, jewels, trompe l'oeil
Frieze. France, 1825-35

How many bubbles do you like?

Posted by Sarah D. Coffin, on Monday December 31, 2012

Those who drink champagne have varying ideas how bubbly it should be. This glass prompted me to think about how the shape of a glass affects the taste of champagne. Although we tend to associate saucer-style champagne glasses with elegant figures from the 1920s, this shape existed well before then.

champagne, Glass, saucer, flute, celebration, bubbles, fizz, Lobmeyr
Champagne Glass by J & L Lobmeyr

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