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.

Timeless Sources: Rare Books from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum

On View: Thursday, March 21, 1985 to Sunday, October 6, 1985

This exhibition highlights treasures from Cooper-Hewitt's National Design Library. A range of publications, from technical encyclopedias illustrating architectural processes to trade catalogs featuring feathers and fabric swatches are included. These rare books, dating from the 16th century to the modern day, present an illustrated history of architecture, interior design, furniture, landscape design, theatrical design, and the decorative arts.  

books, rare books, illustrated books, design books, National Design Library, exhibitions, permanent collection

Old Master Prints from the Wallerstein Collection

On View: Tuesday, March 5, 1985 to Sunday, May 26, 1985

More than 100 prints are on display, highlighting the works produced by Dutch and German master printmakers between the 15th to 17th century. The exhibition features prints by Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Martin Schongauer, as well as those by "Little Masters" such as Heinrich Aldegrever, Hans Sebald Beham and George Pencz. The works on view, drawn from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Bell Gallery of Brown University, were all originally donated from the private collection of Leo Wallerstein. 

Germany, Netherlands, prints, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349821

The Four Continents

On View: Tuesday, February 19, 1985 to Tuesday, March 12, 1985

An exhibition tracing the allegorical representation of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America on decorative objects since the 5th century. The more than 100 objects on display include ceramics, coins, glassware, maps, textiles, globes, wallpaper, and engravings. The 17th and 18th centuries are the main focus of the exhibition because of Europe's discovery of the New World. Most of the objects on view were formerly in the private collection of  James Hazen Hyde.

James Hazen Hyde, ceramics, coins, glassware, MAPS, textiles, decorative objects, wallcoverings, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349839

Cut Paper

On View: Tuesday, February 12, 1985 to Tuesday, March 19, 1985

More than 150 examples of works created with cut paper are on view. Drawn from the Museum's collection as well as private and public collections in the United States and abroad, these cut paper designs date from the 10th century to the present and include Japanese kata-gami stencils used to dye fabric as well as black paper portraits by silhouette artist Augustin Edouart.

paper, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350145

Chinese Gold and Silver from the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 - 907) in American Collections

On View: Tuesday, February 5, 1985 to Sunday, April 21, 1985

Rare and precious metalwork from China’s Tang Dynasty are on display. This exhibition includes Buddhist statues, vases, ladles, scissors, cosmetic boxes, and jewelry from the 7th to the 10th century.

China, decorative objects, metalwork, gold, silver, jewelry, exhibitions

Fabled Cloth: Batik from Java's North Coast

On View: Tuesday, January 29, 1985 to Sunday, April 28, 1985

The more than 50 batiks on view date from 1850 to 1940 and represent the great skill of Javanese artisans. These handwoven and artfully-dyed fabrics are from public and private collections in the United States, England, the Netherlands, Italy, and Indonesia.

Organized by the Textile Museum in Washington, DC.

Java, Indonesia, textiles, exhibitions

Embellished Calendars: An Illustrated History

On View: Tuesday, November 20, 1984 to Sunday, February 24, 1985

About 100 calendars from before the advent of the printing press through to the present day are on view.

calendar, exhibitions

European Illustration: 1974–1984

On View: Tuesday, November 13, 1984 to Sunday, February 3, 1985

Original artwork by leading European illustrators for books, magazines, and newspapers is on display. The exhibition features 150 illustrations selected from the thousands reproduced since 1974 in the Designers and Art Directors Association of London's European Illustration annual.

illustration, Europe, 20th century, traveling exhibitions

New Vistas: American Art Pottery, 1880–1920

On View: Tuesday, November 6, 1984 to Friday, January 25, 1985

The 75 objects on view documents the work of American art pottery between 1880 and 1920. Companies such as Rookwood Pottery, Grueby Faience, Newcomb College Pottery, Weller Pottery, Fulper Pottery, and the University City Ceramics of St. Louis are well-represented. Individual artisans include George Ohr, Louis Comfort Tiffany, E. T Hurley, Laura Fry, Matthew A. Daly, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer, Sara Sax, and Jacques Sicard.

ceramics, pottery, American, Arts and Crafts, exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349785

Objects of Adornment: 5000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore

On View: Tuesday, October 16, 1984 to Sunday, January 6, 1985

This is the first national tour of jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. The more than 200 items on view range from ancient Egyptian and Etruscan pendants to 20th century pieces by Rene Lalique and Fabergé and reflect the evolution of aesthetics, material use, and societal conventions.

jewelry, traveling exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35350377