New York

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1974-23-6
Lydia’s New York
Batik, an ancient craft often associated with Indonesia, became popular in United States in the 1910s and 20s, with artists such as Arthur Crisp, Pieter Mijer, and Lydia Bush-Brown attracting national attention. These artists worked in the traditional manner, painting paraffin and beeswax on their cloth to create a resist, but expanded the traditional design...
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Innovative Printers in Brooklyn
Murals became a fashionable wall decoration in the mid-twentieth century. Murals differ slightly from scenic wallpapers in that most were designed to cover a single wall, or to separate or highlight a section of a larger wall, where scenic wallpapers were designed to run continuously around a room. Many mural designs could also be continuous...
1968-143-1
Bent into Shape
This chair was made in about 1900 in Catskill, New York, the region that inspired some of America’s greatest landscape painting. In the nineteenth century, artists, writers, and tourists travelled to the Catskills in awe of the falls, mountains, and landscape views, which Frederick Church among others so famously depicted. The rapid development of the...
Drawing, 1931-73-304
To The Beat of Their Own Drum
John Rombola (b. 1933 ), a Brooklyn-born artist, has always marched to the beat of his own whimsical rhythm. And fittingly so, when radio station WPaT, which also moved to its own rhythm, commissioned Rombola to provide illustrations for its 1963 advertising campaign “In the Air Everywhere,” to be displayed in subway cars across New...
Closeup of a woman's face in orange and red/pink halftone print. In blue/grey text on woman's sunglasses, "The Chambers Bros" (left lens) and date/location of event (right lens). Thin solid border in same blue/grey as the text, inside a red outer-border.
Good Vibrations
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...
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New & Notable Books for June, 2011
The Cooper Hewitt National Design Library, a branch of Smithsonian Institution Libraries, is the major resource in the United States for books, trade catalogs, serials, pictures, and archival material covering design and decorative art from the Renaissance to the present. Students, artists and designers, writers, researchers from auction houses, preservation and historical societies, conservators, collectors,...
Cooper-Hewitt: Cities for People
For more than forty years Jan Gehl has helped to transform urban environments around the world based on his research into the ways people actually use—or could use—the spaces where they live and work. In this revolutionary book, Cities for People, Gehl presents his latest work creating (or recreating) cityscapes on a human scale. He...
Bill’s Design Talks: Pentagram
Michael Bierut and Yve Ludwig of Pentagram talk about designing the catalog for the National Design Triennial: Why Design Now? A partner at Pentagram, a critic at Yale and a co-founder of Design Observer, Michael is one of the world's most admired graphic designers. We at Cooper-Hewitt were thrilled with the design that he created...
Cooper-Hewitt: Rick Cook on sustainable design
Rick Cook talks to the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt staff. Cook+Fox Architects is a firm devoted to creating environmentally responsible, high-performance buildings. The firm has become known for innovative design at the highest standard of environmental responsibility and for their commitment to excellence enriched by the collaborative process. Rick's work has been showcased at the National Building...