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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Women, Charity, and Craft in America

Posted by Elizabeth Mattison, on Wednesday March 05, 2014

This buttercup-yellow plate was made by Fanny Levine, a member of the Saturday Evening Girls Club. Founded in 1899 by Edith Guerrier, a librarian, and Edith Brown, an illustrator, the Saturday Evening Girls Club was a charitable organization dedicated to the education of poor immigrant women, particularly Jewish and Italian, living in the North End of Boston. As it was originally associated with the Boston Public Library, the club initially served to teach its members about art, literature, and etiquette.

Fanny Levine, Boston, Saturday Evening Girls Club, ceramics, craft, philanthropy

One Artist's Range From Traditional to Abstract

Posted by Carly Lewis, on Tuesday March 04, 2014

Lace-making was a tradition in Luba Krejci’s native Czechoslovakia, but enthusiasm for the craft waned in the twentieth century. Krejci sought to reverse that trend by creating fresh lace designs like this one for others to produce. She intended to revitalize the disappearing art form by inspiring new interest in it.

bobbin lace, four seasons, Luba Krejci, linen, Czechoslovakia

Hooks and Frocks

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Monday March 03, 2014

Deborah's work is a contemporary example of trompe l'oeil which has a very long history in wallcoverings. Many of the earliest wallpapers were imitations of textiles, stone and architectural elements. The photo montage technique and the designer’s invite to interact with the scene are very contemporary takes on the mural tradition.  Hooks and Frocks is printed in a gray scale with only the dresses picked out in bright colors.

mural, interior, screen print, hooks, frocks, chair, wallpaper

A Soviet Achievement

Posted by Rachel Brill, on Sunday March 02, 2014

This large hand-painted circular plate, measuring 13 9/16” in diameter, represents a period of Russian history during Stalin’s regime, where state sponsored porcelain products were used to promote the accomplishments of Russian society and culture and helped to play an important role in the official Party’s Soviet state propaganda campaign.

Plate, Porcelain, women, sports, Russia, Soviet Union, propaganda

Mercury's Swift Flight

Posted by Kristina Parsons, on Saturday March 01, 2014

Hildreth Meière (1892-1961) was a distinguished Art Deco muralist, painter, mosaicist, and decorative artist often applauded for her defiance of normative standards against the professional success of females.  In 1936 she wrote, “It drives me wild to be spoken of as ‘one of the best women artists’. I’ve worked as an equal with men, and my rating as an equal is all that I value.” Indeed, Meière’s artistic achievements gained great attention throughout the art world during her lifetime and continue to be revered today.

Hildreth Meière, design drawing, mural, Mercury, Art Deco

Put An Owl On It

Posted by Amanda Kesner, on Friday February 28, 2014

Owls are nocturnal birds that are characterized in most people’s memories as wise creatures, perched up on their branch overlooking the world’s activities; always awake, eyes never closed.  In my memory, owls are the talisman of a childhood favorite lollipop, the tootsie roll pop. The mind burning question of: “How Many Licks Does It Take To Get To The Center Of A Tootsie Pop?” The answer of course being, “The world may never know.”

owl, birds, textiles, 18th century, sewing, Portlandia, Hewitt sisters, Pinterest

India Chintz All Pieced Together

Posted by Gregory Herringshaw, on Thursday February 27, 2014

People are always inquiring how the Museum acquires its wallpaper samples. Wallpapers come to the museum in a variety of ways: they can be donated by the manufacturer when produced, sometimes people find old sample books or remnants of wallpaper up in the attic or garage, and sometimes antique samples are removed from the walls of old homes. Not all papers in the Museum’s collection are pristine, with many examples having spent decades or centuries hanging on the walls of homes, not always protected from the elements.

wallpaper, chintz, chintz figures, inpaint

Levi's Design Stands the Test of Time

Posted by Kimberly Cisneros, on Wednesday February 26, 2014

Who can forget those 1990’s Levi’s commercials – marketing sex appeal, celebrity fashion, romance and rock ‘n’ roll style!  Instilling marketing slogans like “Originals stand the test of time” and “The more you wash them the better they get,” Levi’s jeans are an iconic image of American culture and style.

poster, graphic design, advertising, Levi's, Levi Strauss, jeans, Denim, clothing, California

Is it Playtime, Yet?

Posted by Shannon Murphy, on Tuesday February 25, 2014

Wearing complimentary red and green costumes, this group of golden children appears wise beyond their years. They have dour expressions on their faces, and most are too wrapped up in their studies to even acknowledge the spectator. Wm. Campbell-Wall-Paper-Co manufactured “The Froebel” frieze in 1905. It was innovative wallpaper because it was antiseptic, treated to prevent bacteria and germs from absorbing into the paper. Its name came from another innovator, Friedrich Froebel (1782-1840), the inventor of kindergarten.

frieze, progressive education, kindergarten, Friedrich Froebel, Wm. Campbell-Wall-Paper-Co.

Inspiration and Production

Posted by Matilda McQuaid, on Monday February 24, 2014

In 2004, the Museum commissioned Hella Jongerius to create a series of ten textiles, collectively titled Sampler Blanket, in conjunction with her Collection Selects exhibition. Each work in the show was inspired by designs found on historic samplers in the Museum’s Textile collection, which includes over 1,000 examples of embroidered samplers from all over the world spanning three centuries.

Hella Jongerius, Maharam, samplers