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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Is that really a textile?

Posted by Kimberly Cisneros, on Sunday February 03, 2013

At first glance, Figures with Still Life, designed by Ruth Reeves, looks like a modern art painting. I did a double take when I realized it was, instead, a screen printed textile on plain weave. Throughout her career, Reeves designed a variety of objects in modern styles including tapestries, wall hangings, wall fabrics, carpeting, and dresses. 

Ruth Reeves, Art Deco, Cubism, figures representing daily life, wall hanging

New York Classic

Posted by Cynthia E. Smith, on Saturday February 02, 2013

Like thousands of others, I pass through Grand Central Terminal every day on my way to work. Actually I am on a subway train passing below, but in my mind’s eye I picture the magnificent granite and limestone building looming above Park Avenue interrupting the busy boulevard. Even today it stands as an enduring temple to urban transportation, commerce and design.

Whitney Warren, Grand Central Terminal, New York City, drawing, Charles Wetmore, Reed and Stern, Architecture, Manhattan, Columbia University, Ecole des Beaux Arts, National Historic Landmark, granite, limestone

Flights of Fancy

Posted by Susan Brown, on Friday February 01, 2013

Les coquecigrues” features in several French expressions, such as “á la venue des coqucigrues,” which has the meaning and something of the feeling of “when pigs fly.” But this enchanting fabric suggests another expression, “regarder voler les coquecigrues,&rdqu

Oberkampf, coquecigrues, Mme. Jules Mallet


Posted by Caitlin Condell, on Thursday January 31, 2013

In 1931 when he designed this poster, the Swiss artist, designer, and architect Max Bill had already completed several years of study at the Bauhaus under the guidance of artistic luminaries Oskar Schlemmer, Paul Klee, and Wassily Kandinsky.  Bill had returned to Switzerland in 1929, and it was while living in Z&uu

Max Bill, poster, graphic design, dance, Käthe Wulff, Mariette von Meyenburg, Bauhaus, Rudolf von Laban, Oskar Schlemmer

Homer and Prouts Neck

Posted by Gail S. Davidson, on Wednesday January 30, 2013

In April 2005, while writing an essay on Winslow Homer and the American Landscape, I drove up with my husband to Prouts Neck, Maine where Homer had his studio on land that was owned by his family.  Homer, along with his father and two brothers, had purchased property on Prouts Neck from 1882 through 1909, for the purpose of creating a family vacation compound and as an investment in one of the most scenic spots along the Atlantic Coast.  An easement or “marg

Winslow Homer, Prouts Neck, Maine, Portland Museum of Art, American landscape

Good Vibrations

Posted by Caitlin Condell, on Tuesday January 29, 2013

Stare into the electric blue shades of this woman’s sunglasses and what do you see?  Even if you know what you are looking for, the blue letterforms come together to form coherent words only with sustained visual focus.  If you were to advertise a concert that you wanted people to come to, would you make it this difficult for your audience to find out about it?  Or could it be that the designer had something else in mind?

Victor Moscoso, San Francisco, The Chambers Brothers, Josef Albers, Herbert Matter, Yale University, Cooper Union, color theory, New York, poster, lithography, Neon Rose, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin, typography, graphic design

Wide-eyed Printmaking

Posted by Caitlin Condell, on Monday January 28, 2013

Beginning in the late 19th century, the medium of printmaking played an integral role in the creation of modern Mexican art, a tradition that can be traced back to the work of, among others, José Guadalupe Posada.  But it was in the post-revolutionary period of the early 20th century that large groups of Mexican artists, often with the support of the government, began using printmaking as a means of expression that allowed for large-scale dissemination.

Francisco Dosamantes, Mexico, printmaking, lithography, posters, Taller de Gráfica Popular, José Guadalupe Posada, Emilio Amero

A Mantle Fragment

Posted by Edna Ritzenberg, on Sunday January 27, 2013

Moving to a new home includes a trip to the nearest library to read all about this new location. Next, after finding a great librarian, is being lucky enough to find a neighbor who becomes a soul mate. My new neighbor in Woodmere, New York shared my love and enthusiasm for archeology and anthropology, an interest I have had ever since my student days in South Africa when I visited the caves at Sterkfontein, outside of Johannesburg.

Peru, textile, mantle

Living Modern

Posted by Marilyn F. Friedman, on Saturday January 26, 2013

In 1939, the pioneering industrial designer Donald Deskey, was asked to participate in the Contemporary Industrial Arts Exhibition to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in early 1940.  For his project, he designed a prefabricated weekend cabin, called “Sportshack,” depicted in this air-brush rendering.

Donald Deskey, Industrial Design, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Aklo glass, Libbey Owns Ford, prefabrication, New York World's Fair 1940

Building a Shoe

Posted by Allison Grimes, on Friday January 25, 2013

Inventor Tinker Hatfield is responsible for the original design concepts of Air Jordan sneakers, one of the most widely recognized and highly coveted products from the 1990s. The jagged line of color on the edge of the sole that became a trademark; the revolutionary “Air” bubble design, a small plastic window in the sole of the shoe which allowed you to see the cushioning system inside, are all ideas that came from one man who seems to know a little more about building than just shoe design.

Shoe, sneaker, Tinker Hatfield, nike, Architecture, drawing