Author: Elizabeth Broman

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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-...
Image features Illustrated map of Paris on the book jacket for "A shopping guide to Paris". Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Thérèse Bonney: How to shop with Finesse
“There is much more to shopping in the French capital than merely walking in in American fashion and making a purchase. Shopping in Paris is an art and must be approached with a certain finesse.”  
Image features: Illustration. Cover of The home decorator and color guide by Rockwell Kent. Published by [S.l.] : Sherwin-Williams, 1939. Smithsonian Libraries. Please scroll down to see the blog post about this object.
Rockwell Kent: Interior Decorator??
Rockwell Kent is famous as an early American modernist painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer, sailor and adventurer. Like many artists he did commercial and decorative work in order to earn money and pay the bills. The Cooper Hewitt Library has some examples of this commercial work – designing dinnerware, murals, bookplates, and this interior design and...
Image features The Tyrolian Singer , before and after pulling the pull tab mechanism. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Living Pictures
The Cooper Hewitt Design Library recently acquired another Lothar Meggandorfer (1847-1925) movable book for its pop-up and movable collection. He is known for his children’s book illustrations, but is best known as a movable book designer.
Metal-Work and its Artistic Design
Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt (1820-1877), a well-known British architect and art historian, championed the role of the designer in the manufacturing process.