Current Exhibitions

several people in a large museum gallery looking at the items on the walls and in large glass cases.

Ladislav Sutnar (American and Czech, 1897–1976) for A. B. Addo (Malmö, Sweden). Addo-x, 1958. Offset lithograph. 96.8 x 61.3 cm (38 1/8 x 24 1/8 in.). Gift of Anonymous Donor, 1994-109-7. Photo by Matt Flynn.

How Posters Work

How Posters Work shows how dozens of different designers—from prominent pioneers like Herbert Matter, Paul Rand, Philippe Apeloig and M/M (Paris), to lesser-known makers—have mobilized principles of composition, perception and storytelling to convey ideas and construct experiences. Featuring nearly 125 posters from Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection, the exhibition demonstrates how some of the world’s most creative designers have employed design principles to produce powerful acts of visual communication.

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Through Jan. 24, 2016


Immersion Room

Cooper Hewitt’s extraordinary collection of wallcoverings is featured in a new high-tech space, the Immersion Room, offering visitors the unprecedented experience of using the Pen to select digital images of wallpapers or sketch their own design and then project them onto the walls at full scale to see their impact. More than an entertaining interactive experience, the Immersion Room gives museum visitors their first opportunity to discover Cooper Hewitt’s wallcoverings as they were intended to be viewed.

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Painting of an orange building with ornate exterior walls in what appears to be a desert.

Passion for the Exotic: Lockwood de Forest, Frederic Church

One of the great treasures of the Carnegie Mansion, on the second floor, is the former family library, created by the America’s leading Aesthetic Movement champion of Indian design, Lockwood de Forest.

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green plastic vase or urn with complex geometric striations all over the surface.


Making Design, installed in a suite of renovated galleries on the second floor, is the first in a number of exhibitions devoted to showcasing Cooper Hewitt’s collection. Bringing together some 360 objects, including furniture, lighting fixtures, tableware, clothing, jewelry, books and posters, the exhibition provides an overview of five key elements of design: line, form, texture, pattern, and color (blue, for this second installation).

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The first museum exhibition to introduce the imaginative work of British designer Thomas Heatherwick and his London-based studio to an American audience. Heatherwick is known for his unique design concepts ranging from products, infrastructure and temporary structures, such as the U.K. Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, to, most recently, large-scale architecture projects around the world.

Organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, the exhibition is curated by Cooper Hewitt Deputy Director Brooke Hodge.

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Through January 3, 2016

Miniature model of a grand spiraling staircase.

Models & Prototypes gallery

The second floor of Cooper Hewitt features a Models & Prototypes gallery, where rotating installations provide insights into the important role of models in the design process. For the inaugural installation, the gallery showcases the exceptional models of staircases donated to Cooper Hewitt by Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw.

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Gold birdcage with jade and amethyst string of beads coming from the top and fancy bird toys and perches inside.

Hewitt Sisters Collect

Hewitt Sisters Collect, the first exhibition to share the remarkable story of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt, who in 1897 established a museum within Cooper Union, recognizes their central role in the museum’s founding and genesis of the core collection.

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A capsule installation of the collaborative design process behind Pixar Animation Studios now on view in the Process Lab. Rarely-seen hand-drawn sketches, paintings, and sculptures from over 25 Pixar films, plus hands-on design activities show how Pixar develops its popular characters, fosters emotional connections to its films, and, ultimately, places the design process at the studio’s creative core.

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Through August 7, 2016

Wrapper. Dyula peoples, Ivory Coast, mid-20th century. Hand-loomed cotton, tied-resist (ikat) patterning, indigo dyed, plain weave with rayon supplementary weft patterns. 174 x 104.1 cm (5 ft. 8 1/2 in. x 41 in.). Museum purchase from Textile Department Fund, 1979-23-1. Photo: Matt Flynn.


Architect David Adjaye mines the museum’s permanent collection for the 12th exhibition in the ongoing Selects series. On view in the Marks Gallery, the exhibition features 14 West and Central African textiles from the museum’s textile holdings, including an Asante kente cloth from Ghana, a bògòloanfini mud cloth from Mali, a Dyula ikat wrapper from Ivory Coast, a Yoruba indigo dyed wrapper from Nigeria and men’s hats from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Cameroon.

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Through Feb. 14, 2016

Designing the New Cooper Hewitt

The museum itself is a grand design object, as shown in the ground-floor exhibition Designing the New Cooper Hewitt. Design briefs, sketches, photographs, blueprints and other illustrations from the team of designers reveals the process behind three years of renovation and transformation at Cooper Hewitt.

Exhibition Sponsors

Digital Experience supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Exhibitions of the permanent collection are made possible by major support from Nancy Marks. Additional support is provided by Elizabeth and Lee Ainslie and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Hewitt Sisters Collect is made possible by generous support from Nancy Marks. Additional support is provided by Margery and Edgar Masinter and the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

Passion for the Exotic: Lockwood de Forest, Frederic Church is made possible in part by the American Express Foundation. Restoration of the Teak Room is supported in part by the American Express Historic Preservation Fund.

The Immersion Room is made possible by major support from Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee.

How Posters Work is made possible by major support from Adobe Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York and the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.

David Adjaye Selects is made possible by the Marks Family Foundation Endowment Fund.

Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio is made possible by generous support from Edward and Helen Hintz. Additional funding is provided by the August Heckscher Exhibition Fund and the Ehrenkranz Fund.

Top photo: Ricky Nierva, Riley and Emotions, Inside Out, 2015. Watercolor and marker on paper. © Disney/Pixar.