A Portable Equatorial Sundial

Here is an object that any traveler, especially myself, would be happy to pop in their bag. That will not come to pass, but I can still ponder how I would impress fellow adventurers with this beautiful gilt brass, steel and glass wonder. This portable equatorial sundial, of 1748, is a finely crafted instrument by Jacob Emanuel Laminit. Laminit lived and worked in Augsburg, Germany arguably one of the premiere centers of scientific gadgetry in its day. It was here that some of the world’s most beautiful sundials were constructed.
Sundial, Jacob Emanuel Laminit, Augsburg, geography, travel, animals, scientific instruments

Introducing the Rhinoceros

In the age of Instagram, it is easy to forget that there was a time—in fact, most of time—when information about what an animal looked like was passed between continents by sketches and word of mouth.  If this rhinoceros looks a little funny, with whiskers under his chin and scale-covered plates, it is because Albrecht Dürer, the great Northern Renaissance artist and thinker who created this print, had never actually seen one. 
Albrecht Dürer, print, woodcut, Rhinoceros, animals, curiosity, Germany, Portugal

Noah's Ark

In this ornate design made of cut paper, contemporary artist Ernst Oppliger depicts three pairs of couples in windows at the top of a towering structure, while the windows below contain silhouettes of many exotic animals, including elephants, giraffes, and ostriches.
Ernst Oppliger, cut paper, silhouette, Switzerland, religious subjects, animals

Kindergarten Cut-Outs

The Schmitz-Horning Company was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1905 and was known for its lithographed borders and scenic wallpapers. One of its early papers was “Kindergarten Cut-Outs,” the first interactive wallpaper designed for children. These papers were sold as five-foot long panels at a cost of one dollar per panel. The paper in the Museum’s collection is not a full panel­—as you can see, the cat has been cut in half.
wallpaper, nursery, dog, rabbit, animals, lithograph, Schmitz-Horning Company

Zoo Party: Produced by the New York District Chapter, American Institute of Interior Designers to Benefit the Cooper Union Museum Acquisition Fund: Thursday, May 16, 1968, Central Park Zoo

animals, decorative arts, Central Park Zoo, zoos

Fantastic Illustration and Design in Britain, 1850–1930

An exhibition of illustrated fairies, folk tales, animals, and phantasmagoric scenes as primarily rendered in original drawings, with a selection of books, furniture, ceramics, and other items of decorative art. Some of the artists whose imaginations are on display include Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, Edmund Dulac, Kate Greenaway, Edward Lear, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Beatrtix Potter, Arthur Rackham, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ernest Howard Shepard, and Sir John Tenniel. 
illustration, animals, illustrated books, furniture, ceramics, decorative objects, Britain, traveling exhibitions, ch:exhibition=35349967

Image & Motif: Winged Creatures

All manner of imaginary flying creatures, birds, insects, and butterflies are displayed on wallpapers, ceramics, textiles, gilt bronze, drawings, and designs for objects such as thrones and urns.  This installation highlights objects from the Museum's permanent collection, and is part of the ongoing exhibition, The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.
animals, birds, insects, butterflies, wallpapers, ceramics, textiles, drawings, permanent collection, exhibitions

Image & Motif: Animal Friends

Animals—domesticated, wild, and mythical—are a perennial source of design inspiration. This exhibition features works from the Museum's permanent collection, including a tenth-century Persian bowl decorated with goats, a polyester chair in the shape of an elephant’s head, and a colorful textile depicting farm animals.
animals, decorative arts, permanent collection, exhibitions