organic

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1975-32-14
Under the Sea
In July of 1913, Arthur Sanders, a gaffer at Tiffany Studios, was sent on a dream of a business trip. He traveled to Hamilton, Bermuda to study marine life through a glass-bottomed boat. Sanders observed the beauty of the underwater world so that he could later reproduce it in glass when back in Corona, New...
Hand woven sample for wall covering, Designed by Anni Albers, American, b. Germany, 1899–1994
Practical, Spiritual, Useful, and Beautiful…
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. “We use materials to satisfy our practical needs and our spiritual ones as well. We have useful things and beautiful things – equipment and works of art.” [1] Artist, weaver,...
1956-76-6-a_c
Re-framing Life
Architect-designer Hector Guimard earned recognition for his architectural optimism but garnered additional acclaim for his designs intended to occupy the spaces that he created. Working during the end of the nineteenth and early twenteieth centuries in the organic language of Art Nouveau, Guimard approached his designs as part of a larger artistic whole, a Gesamtkunstwerk,...
Sample, 1967, produced by Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated
Colorful Curves
Jack Lenor Larsen, one of the most influential textile designers of the 20th century, is noted for his pioneering use of innovative methods and materials. Bojangles, designed for the 1967 collection The Butterflies, is made from Caprolan stretch nylon designed to conform to the rounded, organic shapes of 1960’s furniture. Larsen believed that pattern should...
1971-66-2
Floating Colors
Although this vase exemplifies a mid-twentieth century organic style of modernism, it comes from a glass factory with a long tradition of using historical production techniques, located on the island of Murano in Venice, Italy, an important glass-blowing center since the middle ages. In the mid-nineteenth century, Italian lawyer Antonio Salviati developed an interest in glass after...
1997-11-3
On a High Note
I recently enjoyed a visit to American craftsman Wharton Esherick’s former studio and home, now operating as a museum, on the top of Valley Forge Mountain in Malvern, Pennsylvania.  Exteriors and interiors on the site are amusingly playful yet impressively clever and upon closer examination, carefully calculated. There is barely a straight line in the whole design. Instead...
2008-35-1
Weaving with light
Designer Suzanne Tick has shown that design can be functional, sustainable, innovative, and aesthetically pleasing. For example, in a recent video made on the occasion of Earth Day, Tick wove interesting colorful textiles using foil balloons recovered from the beach, as well as wire hangers discarded by the dry cleaners. In creating this hanging lamp,...
Silver-plated bulbous body tapering into elongated spout on one side; opposite spout, long handle composed of two curved, deep purple anodized aluminum elements overlapping and extending outward, joined by two green onyx beads at point of contact with each other. Circular lid with small square knop topped with curved, deep purple anodized aluminum tab handle.
Going with the Flow
This teapot demonstrates a unique way of creating organic and curved lines, which can be seen in the handle. Chunghi Choo’s calligraphy brush strokes served as the inspiration for the handle and knob. According to Choo, the “sweeping movements of the brush…give it a flowing line of energy.”[1] Chunghi Choo studied oriental painting, including Chinese...
Pink oblong oval form with folded, undulating rim.
American Modernizing
Russel Wright’s massively popular American Modern Dinnerware line remained in production for 20 years—from 1939 to 1959—but that was only after Wright spent two years prodding reluctant manufacturers to mass-produce his unconventional ceramics. The line was a departure from everything that design, and tableware in particular, represented in prior years. Instead of restrained and formal,...