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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Lace in Fashion: Chantilly

Posted by Kimberly Randall, on Thursday August 29, 2013

In the mid-nineteenth century, a style of bobbin lace commonly known as Chantilly achieved a great popularity that endured in varying degrees until the end of the century.  The town of Chantilly produced lace for the French court in the eighteenth century, but ceased operations during the French Revolution. In the early nineteenth century, lace making slowly revived, but much of the production was made for export to the Spanish market.

Chantilly, lace, head covering

Popeye the Sailor

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Wednesday August 28, 2013

This children’s wallpaper illustrates characters from Thimble Theatre. Along with Popeye, Olive Oyl and Swee’Pea, the paper also shows Bluto (forever Popeye’s nemesis), Poopdeck Pappy (Popeye’s father), and Wimpy (who will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.) The scenes are arranged in a traditional figural landscape-style format with scenes taking place both indoors and out.

wallpaper, popeye the sailor, Children, Olive Oyl

Planetary: collecting and preserving code as a living object

Posted by Sebastian Chan & Aaron Cope, on Monday August 26, 2013


"This is a field in which one does one’s work and it will be obsolete within 10 years."

Steve Jobs, 1994

Cooper-Hewitt has just acquired its first piece of code. Although the collection has objects that are the end result of algorithmic processes, notably Patrick Jouin's 3D printed chair, Solid C2, this is the first time that code, itself, has been collected.

digital curation, code, iOS
Planetary iOS App by Bloom

A Pickle Fork for Every Occasion

Posted by Stephen H. Van Dyk, on Monday August 26, 2013

The roots of the firm Reed & Barton in Taunton, Massachusetts, go back to several ownerships starting in 1824, and by 1840 the firm of the silversmiths Reed & Barton was firmly established.  They created high quality goods that could compete with European and British silversmithing.  They achieved success as both a manufacturer and marketer of fine tableware and giftware products that are renowned for their outstanding design and exceptional craftsmanship.

Victorian Tableware, Victorian dining, Reed & Barton, Silverware, Eating Utensils, Forks, Knives, Spoons;
Red & Barton Catalogue

Fresh, Fun, Friendly

Posted by Laurel McEuen, on Sunday August 25, 2013

Josef Hillerbrand (1892-1981), was a German-born architect and painter who also designed textiles, as well as carpets, ceramics, glass, metalwork, furniture, lighting, and interiors. He received his formal training from the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) in Munich, where in 1922 he was asked by Richard Rimmerschmid, a prominent Art Nouveau artist and designer, to teach. He also taught at the Academy of Applied Arts in Munich.

Josef Hillerbrand, Deutsche Werkstatten

An Exotic Cake Knife

Posted by Sarah D. Coffin, on Saturday August 24, 2013

Cakes and ice cream were the rage in the United States in the nineteenth century. People often entertained at tea and for dessert parties, so this meant the implements to serve these treats were often specialty items that did not match silver services for the dinner table. Some cake knives doubled as ice cream saws as their cutting edge could also saw through the brick-like consistency of ice cream kept cold with blocks of ice.

cake knife, cake saw, ice cream saw, exoticism, Frederic Edwin Church, Lockwood de Forest, silver, flatware

Josef Hoffmann’s Notschrei

Posted by Megan Elevado, on Friday August 23, 2013

Today, the words “asylum” and “sanatorium” conjure mental images of patients in white gowns sitting in cold, sparsely furnished, whitewashed rooms with faded checkerboard linoleum flooring. Knowing the dismal associations with these interiors, it may be surprising to learn that Josef Hoffmann’s textile, Notschrei, was one element of the holistically conceived décor for a sanatorium.

josef hoffmann, Sigmund Freud, Purkersdorf, sanatorium, asylum

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

Posted by Carly Lewis, on Thursday August 22, 2013

Uniformity with moments of variety delight the senses in this mid-century wall hanging. Using natural fibers and the ancient technique of tapestry weaving, Swedish designer Ann-Mari Forsberg created this wall hanging, Red Crocus, in which flattened silhouettes of the flower dance across the visual field.

Ann-Mari Forsberg, Elizabeth Gordon, Swedish modern design

Dance, Surf and Poi: A Hawaii Shade

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Wednesday August 21, 2013

This is one of six window shades created for the theatre in the Hollywood Wing of Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ.  The theme of the six shades is music and dance which are all rendered in an art deco or cubist style.  Each shade contains a central figure portraying a different country or region inspired by the classic four continents theme.

Window shade, Doris Duke, Duke Farms, Hawaii, surf, poi

"The Latest Radio Success"

Posted by Cynthia Trope, on Tuesday August 20, 2013

Raymond Loewy was one of the most prominent industrial designers in the United States.  A French émigré, he began practicing in the new field of industrial design in New York City in the 1920s.

radio, Industrial Design, Catalin, Raymond Loewy, Colonial Radio Company