Author: Laura Fravel

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Image features a young girl sitting at a table with a tool in her hand, modeling a figurine in clay. She faces right, in profile. A potted plant or flower arrangement is on the table, at right. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Virginia Modeling
Jerome Myers always had a sketchbook close at hand. When weather prevented him from sketching city life in New York, he would turn instead to self-portraits or drawings of his family. In this sketch, the artist’s daughter—Virginia—sits at a table, making a small figurine out of clay. Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Myers moved with his...
Image features an angelic figure facing frontally, in red-orange robe. Head indicated only through graphite sketch. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Anonymous was a Woman
Throughout March, Object of the Week celebrates Women’s History Month. Each Monday a new post will highlight women designers in the collection. This unfinished angelic figure was likely a design for stained glass. Louise Howland King Cox designed windows for Louis Comfort Tiffany in the 1890s. However, there are few extant records about her work...
Image features a charcoal and white gouache drawing showing an open market in a city square with canvas awnings strung over the stalls. A male figure is seated before an easel in the foreground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Hop Smith in Venice
Writer and illustrator Francis Hopkinson Smith did not publish his first work until he was almost 50 years old.  Trained as an engineer, he spent the first part of his career in construction and is credited with designing the foundation for the Statue of Liberty. He made charcoal drawings and watercolors throughout his life and...
Image features a drawing of a night scene showing an idealized rocky landscape with falling snow. In the sky is the star of Bethlehem. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Night Visitors
Amahl and the Night Visitors was the original Hallmark Christmas movie. The one-act opera by Gian Carlo Menotti was the first opera composed for television in the United States. Commissioned by NBC, it was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1951 from a studio in Rockefeller Center. Sponsored by Hallmark, it was also the debut...
Image feature two drawings on one page. In the upper left corner, an alligator sits in a coal bucket, facing towards the right. In the lower right, a little girl, seen from behind, reaches for the top shelf of a bookcase, rising on her toes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Little April Fool
The collection at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum includes nearly 500 drawings from the estate of illustrator Florence Choate. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1878, Choate studied at the Art Students League in New York where she was awarded scholarships in portrait and figure drawing.  There, she met fellow student Elizabeth A. Curtis, who...
Image features a drawing, a self-portrait of the artist, collar open, holding a book in his right hand. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Ye Ghost
  An influential painter, writer, and teacher, Kenyon Cox was perhaps best known for his murals that decorate state capitols and courthouses across the United States. The collection at Cooper Hewitt includes hundreds of his drawings, including six sketchbooks from his time as an art student—first in Ohio and then traveling to Paris—offering valuable insights...
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...