Author: Matthew Kennedy

From the Collection: Queer Modernisms and Beyond
In observance of Pride month, Cooper Hewitt’s curatorial departments have selected a group of objects with LGBTQ+ stories to feature on the museum’s collection site. These objects are loosely connected by the theme of queer modernisms and are by LGBTQ+ designers.
Close-up view of the Pride flag, of many stripes and colors, hanging from the balcony of an ornate mansion with foliage covering it.
Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride Flag at the Smithsonian
In 2023, Cooper Hewitt hung the Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride flag on its south-facing facade. The installation celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month and demonstrates the evolution of inclusivity in the design of Pride flags.
Women Making Wallpaper
For Women's History Month, view more than 100 years of women's contributions to wallpaper design.
A digital collage of seven images of various types of design objects, including posters, a wallpaper, a textile, and salt and pepper shakers.
Women in Design
Discover the cross-disciplinary work of women in design through seven objects.
The Hewitt Sisters and the Anti-Suffrage Movement
Women's right to vote was a widely debated issue in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century. Prominent women were on both sides of the debate, which pushed against traditional views of gender and class.
Composite image of two photographs, both picturing an exhibition of geometric structures in a brown wooded room.
Cooper Hewitt + The Smithsonian Institution: Becoming the Nation’s Design Museum
On October 7, 1976, Cooper Hewitt opened, joining the Smithsonian and becoming the nation’s design museum. Learn how that came to be.
Open spread of an illustrated book. On the left is a full-page black-and-white image of two elongated figures looking at a third figure that resembles a full moon. On the right is the book's title page. Two figures are embedded in intricate foliage. A rectangle with a blank background contains the title: "Salome: A Tragedy in one Act : Translated from the French of Oscar Wilde : Pictured by Aubrey Beardsley"
There’s Something About Salome
When Salome requests a severed head on a platter, be careful what you wish for. Or write. Or draw. In 1894, Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley—both considered enfants terribles of Victorian England for their provocative work and lifestyles—produced a printed edition of Wilde’s play Salome. Wilde’s psychological centralization on the character of Salome and Beardsley’s...
Poster for the Spike Lee film, ‘Do the Right Thing.’ Shows a bird’s-eye view of a blue street with a man standing cross-armed by the tail of a car on the left. At right, a man holds a pizza box. Printed in yellow, upper center, with children's feet on either side: It's the hottest day of the summer. / You can do nothing, / you can do something, / or you can... Printed larger in yellow, center: DO THE / RiGHT / THing. Rows composed of colored triangles appear between the lines of text. In light blue, directly to the right: BEd-Stuy. In white, below, written by a young girl with chalk: A Spike Lee Joint. A child-like drawing of a man with a gun and a cop car appear in the lower right. Film credits listed in white at the bottom of the poster. The rating information (R) and the Spectral Recording/Dolby Studio logo appear on the bottom left.
Movie Night! Seven Art Sims Posters for Spike Lee Films
Art Sims (American, born 1954) has designed graphics across entertainment media, but his most famous and prolific work is that for film posters. His collaboration with Academy Award–winning filmmaker Spike Lee (American, born 1957), in particular, has produced some of his most iconic designs. Sims was first drawn to Lee’s work after seeing Lee’s first...
A poster depicting a bluescale image of the head of a woman with a bouffant hairdo and an unrestrained shouting expression, as words advertising a theatrical production spiral from her mouth, contrasted against a bright yellow, solid background.
Black Theater: A Graphic Design Showcase
Graphic design serves a powerful role in establishing the visual identity of theatrical performance. Cooper Hewitt’s collection offers highlights of graphic design for the work of Black playwrights and composers. Narratives addressing riots and rage; exploring triumph, history, and oppression; or featuring funk, soul, and divas interact with typography, image, and space to tell a...