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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Souvenir of a Ball

Posted by Elizabeth Chase, on Wednesday October 23, 2013

By the late nineteenth century, travel was an integral component of society life for both men and women. It was also an opportunity for displays of lavish wealth, and James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot’s print, relating to a painting of the same title, and the second in his set of three “social conversation pictures,” illustrates this trend. Treated in a light operatic manner, this romantic triangle, composed of two women and a gentleman, takes place on a ship deck set against the background of a grand harbor.

print, travel

A Blenko vase with applied decoration

Posted by Sarah Coffin, on Tuesday October 22, 2013

Blenko glass represents the combination of technological advances in glassmaking with the original designs created by designers, with a focus on color, a key part of it impact. First producing flat glass for windows, including stained glass for the windows of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, the company earned national recognition especially for the creation of a strong red glass that could be double fired. Red is a notoriously fugitive color in glass, and the ability for it to be double fired and not lose color enabled enamel painters to paint on it.

Blenko, Glass

Maiden & Moonflower

Posted by Greg Herringshaw, on Monday October 21, 2013

Maiden & Moonflower was created by Kiki Smith for an exhibition of her work at the Museum Haus Esters in Germany in 2008, and has since gone into commercial production. The scene depicts a star-filled sky, surrounding a woman standing beneath a tree bough. It addresses the spiritual and eternal aspects of human nature, and speaks of our solitary journey, all the while connected to nature.

Kiki Smith, wallcovering, screen-print

A rare modernist poster

Posted by Gail Davidson, on Sunday October 20, 2013

Niklaus Stoecklin was one of a group of early 20th century Swiss graphic designers including Emile Cardinaux, Otto Morach, and Otto Baumberger who originally trained as painters. While many of these early graphic designers celebrated the Swiss landscape, Stoecklin, with the Germans Ludwig Hohlwein  and Burkhard Mangold, focused on manufactured and industrial good and products.

Niklaus Stoecklin, graphic design

Interplay between 2-D surface and 3-D structure

Posted by Susan Brown, on Saturday October 19, 2013

Grethe Sørensen is an artist and weaver who designs according to architectonic principles. Her interest in photography, cinematography, animation, optics and illusion is expressed in textiles which show a deep understanding of the weaving process, constantly exploring the interplay between two-dimensional surface and three-dimensional structure.

Grethe Sørensen, textile, pattern, illusion, Kvadrat

A Hugo Dreyfuss textile

Posted by Susan Brown, on Friday October 18, 2013

Hugo Dreyfuss was a textile designer and printer, and the business partner of the furniture designer Vladimir Kagan for ten years, from 1950 to 1960. The two met through the artist Emanuel Romano, the brother of Dreyfuss's wife Beatrice Glicenstein. Kagan's business was a family operation, with his father overseeing the factory, and his mother running the small shop on East 65th Street. Dreyfuss's investment in the company enabled them to move to a larger, more prestigious location at 125 East 57th Street. Kagan-Dreyfuss Inc. expanded their range of products and began producing a catalog.

Hugo Dreyfuss, textile, Vladimir Kagan

A poetic transformation of industrial waste

Posted by Ellen Lupton, on Thursday October 17, 2013

The Cabbage chair was created for an exhibition organized in Japan by Issey Miyake, who challenged his contemporaries to conceive of new products for the twenty-first-century. What types of furniture and objects are appropriate, Miyake asked, for people who “don’t just wear clothes, but shed their skin?” He invited Oki Sato of Nendo to find a use for pleated paper, a material employed to process the signature fabric featured in Miyake’s garments. Vast amounts of this material are discarded as a by-product of the manufacturing process.

chair, Nendo, paper, sustainability, Issey Miyake, Japan

Imitation leather paper

Posted by Greg Herringshaw, on Wednesday October 16, 2013

Leather papers copy exactly the grain, the patterns, and the coloring of antique leathers. This sample was produced in 1905, but leather papers were a high-end wallpaper popular from the late 19th century, with a renewed interest during the Colonial Revival Movement in the early 20th century.

Birge Company, imitation leather, wall coverings

A visually dynamic textile

Posted by Susan Brown, on Tuesday October 15, 2013

The Bauer Print Collection, by German designer Wolf Bauer for Knoll Textiles International, was part of a new push for prints under the guidance of Barbara Rodes, the head of textiles in Europe and later head of textiles for all of Knoll, after Florence Knoll retired in 1965.

Knoll Textiles, Wolf Bauer, Pausa AG, Silk Screen

A battle between nature and plastic

Posted by Cynthia Smith, on Monday October 14, 2013

The Campana Brothers’ TransPlastic collection tells a fictional story: in a world made of plastic, nature grows from the plastic and overpowers it. This conceptual collection reflects the Campanas’ preference for juxtaposing contrasting materials and manipulating the scale of domestic furniture. The series treats the natural fiber as clothing or a prosthetic addition, transforming the furniture’s original shape with organically shaped extensions.

Campana Brothers Select, Campana Brothers, chair, plastic, Brazil