Author: Elizabeth Broman

This image features Arctic inspired water service that includes a serving tray, water pitcher, cups, ice bowl. Reed & Barton, artistic workers in silver & gold plate. 1884.
On a Hot Summer’s Night….Icy Cold Silver
Does the frozen scenery on this Reed & Barton beverage set make you feel like the ice water is really icy?   More refreshing? Are you transported to frostier climes in faraway places? Icebergs “startle, frighten, awe; they astonish, excite, amuse, delight and fascinate”[1].   Depending on where you live, icebergs and polar bears can be as...
Image features the decorative title page of Volume 1 and colored engraving of man's costume featuring a waistcoat. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Keeping a Watch on Waistcoats
Marie Antoinette and her entourage of costumers were obsessed with discovering the latest fashion trends in clothing, accessories and hairstyles. Despite the predominance and popularity of French fashion trends in the eighteenth century, the scarcity of printed fashion news and illustrations led to the publications of the first fashion plates in early British magazines for...
Image features cover design of Majorelle trade catalogue. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
French Elegance
Authors: Stephen Van Dyk and Adrienne Meyer This early 20th century trade catalog in the Cooper Hewitt Library includes furniture, lighting, and decorative objects in the art nouveau style created by the French firm of Majorelle. Louis Majorelle (1859-1926), an important French furniture manufacturer, took over his father Auguste’s cabinet making workshop in Nancy in...
Image features page showing Cinderella in the garden picking onions and gathering beeswax from the beehives. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this illustration.
Cinderella Goes Batik
At the Cooper Hewitt Museum the study and teaching of design includes learning about the materials and techniques used in designing objects, textiles, and works on paper. The Cooper Hewitt Museum Library collection supports research into the study of design with books that demonstrate and document techniques and materials, the “how to” and “with what”...
This image features monkeys with sheet music, playing instruments and drinking wine. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Monkey Business, French Style
Monkeys have been a symbol in world cultures for thousands of years, representing qualities ranging from fertility, to evil, lust and wisdom. The negative image that the monkey had in Western culture gradually changed in the 17th century when monkeys were used as symbols to satirize human behavior in Flemish genre painting. This visual art...
Image features tow black and white photographs of expositions at the Grand Palais. On the left: hot air balloons and early airplanes. On the right, lighting and airplanes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
I Wish I Had Been There!!
This post was originally published on April 1, 2013. Between 1909 and 1948, the Grand Palais near the Champs-Elysées in Paris featured  remarkable decorative interiors which housed automotive, aeronautical and many other types of trade shows. For the buildings and other structures of the Paris Colonial Exposition of 1931, decorative lighting helped create a unity...
Image features a roughly square book in the form of a bright red plastic portfolio with a T-shaped handle at the top. The cover is embellished with a large silver-toned letter Y with the word YLEM superimposed in red. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Maverick’s Futuristic Manifesto
Author: Evelyn Meynard Published in 1971, Ylem is a manifesto that contains a collection of designs and texts by the German industrial designer Luigi Colani, held in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Library .
Image features the cover of the Kovový nábytek / Vichr a Spol catalogue, a gray and blue photomontage of tubular steel furniture and the company trademark.. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Vichr Co. Tubular Steel Furniture
This 1937 Czech tubular steel trade catalog Kovový nábytek //Vichr a Spol  is a recent addition to the Cooper Hewitt Library’s extensive collection of furniture trade literature. The library collects these invaluable primary resource materials from all periods, styles, designs and countries. This is a photogravure catalog issued by Vichr, one of the major Czech...
Magazine covers, (L) no. 12, 1926. (R) No. 34, 1928.
Inspirations for Mad Men
I have always loved looking at old advertisements in magazines; many of the people that come and use the Cooper Hewitt Library come for that specific reason. Advertisements are designed to establish a connection between the person seeing it, and the product or idea the ad is selling. Typefaces, colors, styles of portraying an object-...