Author: Laura Fravel

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Image features a portrait of a woman peeling an apple, seen frontally, with a veil covering her hair. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Care for an Apple?
Daniel Huntington towered over the New York art world in the nineteenth century, serving as president of the National Academy of Design and the Century Association.  He began as a landscape painter working in the style of the Hudson River School, but soon expanded his repertoire to include history painting, portraiture, and literary subjects.  Cooper...
A man, seen in profile, plays a banjo with his right hand. His left arm is not shown.
An Artist in America
A noted teacher whose students included Jackson Pollock, Thomas Hart Benton was at the forefront of the Regionalist art movement, painting scenes of everyday life in the United States.  During the Great Depression, he traveled through the South and Midwest and published an autobiography—An Artist in America—recounting his experiences.  The book was illustrated with sketches...
Image features a view of the Grand Canyon. Rock formations in the foreground and to the left are loosely sketched in pencil. The Colorado River appears as a white stripe winding through the center of the composition, between cliff faces painted with bright bands of blue, yellow, and rose washes. Dark clouds in the distance indicate an approaching storm. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Grand Scenery
This year, the Grand Canyon celebrates its 100th anniversary as a national park.  Cooper Hewitt is home to some of the earliest images of the Grand Canyon by Thomas Moran, an artist who accompanied Major John Wesley Powell’s 1873 expedition to survey areas along the Colorado River through Utah and Arizona. This expedition was not...
Image features a rendering of a draped female figure with fairy wings turned toward the right, holding an outstretched cord between her hands. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Beautiful Bills
With her butterfly wings, this artfully draped female figure would seem more at home decorating a theater than ornamenting U.S. currency.  Yet the designer, Walter Shirlaw, clearly labeled his drawing “Bank Note Design.” Shirlaw left school at the age of twelve and apprenticed himself to a bank note engraving company, believing that it would help...
Sweet Peas
Mrs. Henrietta Maria Benson Homer exhibited Sweet Peas at the Brooklyn Art Association in April 1876, asking the relatively modest sum of $20 for the work.[1] In the same show, her son—Winslow Homer—also exhibited work.  Henrietta had taught her son the basics of drawing and painting, and helped to spark his interest in watercolor.  After...
Image features a young woman in a period gown descending a grand, curving staircase. Her left hand is resting on the bannister, and her right hand holds a cloak, dragging on the stairs. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Descending A Staircase
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. In a prolific career spanning six decades, Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871—1954) illustrated more than two dozen books and produced hundreds of illustrations for newspapers and magazines.  From 1901 until 1924, she worked under exclusive contract to Harper’s...