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Sampler, 1829, New York, USA, wool embroidered with silk in cross, stem, chain, back, and four-sided stitches, 1941-69-124
Embroidering the State
Elizabeth Ann Goldin was fourteen when she embroidered this map of the State of New York. Such map samplers would have provided an excellent opportunity for schoolgirls to display their knowledge of geography as well as their needlework skills. In addition to outlining and naming each New York county, Elizabeth depicts Lakes Erie, Ontario, and...
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Exploding Giraffes
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Cooper Hewitt is dedicating select Object of the Day entries to the work of women designers in our collection. Nudged in a single exuberant moment between a decade of the Great Depression and the looming threat of World War II, the 1939 World’s Fair is popularly thought to have...
1999-53-7
Meet You at the Fair
The World’s Fair of 1964-65 was the third major international exhibition to be held in New York City. The Fair was held in Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the same site as the 1939-40 World’s Fair. The theme of the Fair was “Peace Through Understanding”, and it was dedicated to “Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking...
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MAN / HAT / TAN: The Challenge of the Letterhead
In the forward to Letters from the Avant-Garde, a slim yet unique volume edited by Ellen Lupton and Elaine Lustig Cohen focusing on the stationery of European designers, Cohen discusses her experience as proprietor of Ex Libris, a bookstore specializing in avant-garde print materials. Founded in 1979 by Cohen and her husband, Arthur A. Cohen,...
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...