Author: Caitlin Condell

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This image features an Axonometric view of living room/bedroom with studio bed and built-in cabinet in upper corner; a square table with retractable shelves and two arm chairs on either side of table; horizontal strip lighting hangs high on wall above cabinet and bed; and glass shelves for plants hang right of the bed; black and white rectangular carpet/linoleum beneath table and chairs. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Room of One’s Own
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Today’s blog post was written by Caitlin Condell and originally published September 30, 2015. German-born Margarethe (Grete) Fröhlich was a young artist when she moved to Frankfurt, Germany in 1929.  In the early 1920s Frankfurt had experienced a...
Drawing, Concept Car, ca. 1935; Designed by William McBride (American, 1912 - 2000); brush and gouache, pen and ink on illustration board; 16.5 × 54.6 cm (6 1/2 × 21 1/2 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2017-18-14
A Stylist Ahead of His Time
In the early 1930s, the General Motors Art and Colour division was emerging as the most innovative hub of automotive stylists. William McBride was a young man living in Chicago’s South Side, dreaming of fanciful and futuristic cars. As a boy, he “spent sixteen years learning how to design automobiles, to make them real. Cars...
On cream ground, design for a six-wheeled double-decker Greyhound bus in three-quarter profile view. At the front of the automotive, a large windshield, the word "CHICAGO" in silver text on a black plaque immediately below. Centered below the destination is the Greyhound logo, an elongated running white hound on copper ground. Below the logo, a large streamlined chrome grille, which wraps around the sides of the bus, accentuating the windows of the seats on the lower level. A red license plate at front reads "1946-X BUS" with small round white and yellow headlights on either side. The destination city of Chicago appears again on the side of the vehicle, with the Greyhound logo behind, in this instance with the dog on a diagonal ground of red, white, and blue stripes. Views through the windows show at least ten rows of four plushly upholstered seats on the upper level, and approximately five rows on the lower level, allowing for mechanical and luggage storage in the lower rear of the vehicle. The frontmost wheel has a shiny chrome hubcap covering the wheel disc, while the rear wheels have an exposed rim and disc. The bus casts a pale shadow on the ground, which is indicated by two parallel diagonal lines.
Away We Go!
On July 9, 1947, Look magazine ran a feature article on the fastest growing form of transportation in America: intercity buses. “Bus travel, according to the sworn word of many highway fans,” the author wrote, “is the best way to make a sightseeing holiday trip.”[1] The post-war boom in bus travel was indebted, in part,...
Branching Out
For more than a decade, Dutch designer Joris Laarman and his team at Joris Laarman Lab have been looking to nature for information and inspiration. As he writes in the newly published book Joris Laarman Lab, “our digital age makes it possible to not just use nature as a stylistic reference, but to actually use the...
A Bold Statement
Australian graphic designer Mark Gowing designed this poster to advertise the film Tyson, a documentary about the controversial and legendary boxer Mike Tyson. The critically-acclaimed film was directed by James Toback, and closely follows Tyson’s career and personal life through lengthy interviews and archival footage. For his poster design, Gowing adapted elements from the graphic...
Horizontal rectangle. Architectural ruins, open to the sky, used as setting for the Nativity group, seen near center, middleground. Rays of light rise from the figure of the Child. Shepherd kneels in foreground. Woman with bundle on her head, at right.
Cooper Hewitt Short Stories: Collecting Before the Alarm Clock Rings
This month in Cooper Hewitt Short Stories, Caitlin Condell, Associate Curator and Head of Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design at Cooper Hewitt, takes us to Italy to discuss one of the most significant contributions of European drawings in the early days of Cooper Hewitt's collection: the addition of the Giovanni Piancastelli collection.
Image of a Poster, Symphony of a Big City, 1928.
Berlin: Symphony of a Big City
Caitlin Condell discusses this Russian movie poster that utilizes themes of modernity, Constructivism, urban imagery, and the avant-garde found in The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.
Celebrating the Commercial Building
Ely Jacques Kahn's design for a skyscraper, now on view in The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s, demonstrates the power of the architectural drawing as an advertising tool.
Sink or be Sunk
The 1940s after World War II (1939-1945) marked a phase of industrial design that centered on the consumer. Coined by prolific industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972) as the “Decisive decade”, manufacturers began acquiring prestige by redesigning products that met the needs of a changing society.[1] Populations had grown extensively from incoming immigrants; housing for returning...