Exhibitions Archive

This archive includes past Cooper-Hewitt exhibitions dating back to 1975. Earlier exhibitions, including those set as early as the 1930s when the Museum was the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration, are being compiled and will be added at a future date. The Museum is currently closed for renovation, scheduled to re-open in 2014.

Past exhibitions can also be explored online through exhibition catalogs and related publications in our collection of historical publications.

Choices: Recent Acquisitions

On View: Tuesday, March 16, 1993 to Sunday, October 17, 1993

These recent acquisitions demonstrate the importance of design in everyday life. Teapots and chairs are on display, along with a group of drawings for the Central Park Zoo, an early-19th-century French textile depicting the “Monuments of Paris,” and late-20th century posters by Japanese graphic designer Ikko Tanaka.

stoneware, housewares, furniture, textiles, graphic design, recent acquisitions, permanent collection, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349869

A Day Without Art

On View: Tuesday, December 1, 1992 to Sunday, February 28, 1993

The highlight of this exhibition are ten panels that will soon join the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Textiles, wallcoverings, drawings, and prints created by designers who have died of AIDS accompany the panels, including works by architects Roger Ferri and Alan Buchsbaum, textile and wallpaper designer Peter Todd Mitchell, and graphic designer David Exley.

More than 150 New York museums and galleries are commemorating “World AIDS Day" on December 1.

quilts, textiles, wallcoverings, prints, exhibitions

From Background to Foreground: Looking at an 18th-century Wallpaper

On View: Tuesday, November 24, 1992 to Wednesday, April 14, 1993

The centerpiece of this exhibition is a late-eighteenth-century French arabesque-patterned wallpaper, printed by Jean-Baptiste Réveillon,  "Manufacture Royale" under Louis XVI. The Réveillon wallpaper, discovered by Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt in 1900, is part of the Museum's permanent collection of wallcoverings—the largest collection of its kind in the United States.

wallpaper, wallcoverings, France, French, permanent collection, 18th century, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349379

Revolution, Life, and Labor: Soviet Porcelains 1918-1985

On View: Tuesday, November 24, 1992 to Wednesday, April 14, 1993

The porcelain in this exhibition documents Soviet history between the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Glasnost era of the late 1980s. Most of the objects are examples of propaganda and Socialist realism, such as a statuette depicting a seamstress sewing a hammer and sickle banner or a colorful teapot decorated with fields and farm laborers.

Porcelain, Soviet Union, propaganda, Socialist realism, tea service, 20th century, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350049

The Power of Maps

On View: Monday, October 5, 1992 to Sunday, March 7, 1993

The process of mapping and a look at maps as both records and symbols of changing perceptions of the world are documented in this exhibition celebrating the Columbus Quincentenary. More than 200 maps are on view, including a 15th-century clay tablet, a 17th-century Islamic celestial globe, an 18th-century scroll of the coast of China, and contemporary maps based on satellite imagery. The exhibition shows how every map expresses a point of view at the same time that it provides information, and how maps are used every day to shape our vision of who and where we are. 

MAPS, mapping, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349307

Image & Motif: Commemoratives, Events & Heroes

On View: Tuesday, July 28, 1992 to Tuesday, September 15, 1992

Initial Concepts: Dakota Jackson

On View: Tuesday, May 19, 1992 to Tuesday, September 15, 1992

Drawings by American furniture designer Dakota Jackson, selected from the Museum's collection. 

furniture design, Dakota Jackson, drawings, permanent collection, exhibitions

Initial Concepts: Designed for Seating

On View: Tuesday, May 19, 1992 to Tuesday, September 15, 1992

Image & Motif: Animal Friends

On View: Tuesday, April 7, 1992 to Sunday, July 19, 1992

Animals—domesticated, wild, and mythical—are a perennial source of design inspiration. This exhibition features works from the Museum's permanent collection, including a tenth-century Persian bowl decorated with goats, a polyester chair in the shape of an elephant’s head, and a colorful textile depicting farm animals.

animals, decorative arts, permanent collection, exhibitions

Image & Motif: Winged Creatures

On View: Tuesday, November 19, 1991 to Sunday, March 29, 1992

All manner of imaginary flying creatures, birds, insects, and butterflies are displayed on wallpapers, ceramics, textiles, gilt bronze, drawings, and designs for objects such as thrones and urns. 

This installation highlights objects from the Museum's permanent collection, and is part of the ongoing exhibition, The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

animals, birds, insects, butterflies, wallpapers, ceramics, textiles, drawings, permanent collection, exhibitions