Author: Matthew Kennedy

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Hello, Dollies!
The most iconic costume from the musical Hello, Dolly! pairs an elaborate, feathered headdress with a beaded, crimson gown, glamorizing the brash comedic timing of the show’s star. But the plot of the musical originates in a location that requires much humbler attire: a feed merchant’s outpost in Yonkers, New York. As such, the young...
A Question About Two Turkeys
“Can you help us in identifying where our birds were made?”[1] This inquiry is one of numerous others regarding two fowl from a 1968 letter from Catherine Lynn Frangiamore, then an assistant in the Department of Decorative Arts (now Product Design and Decorative Arts) at Cooper Hewitt, to Lino Sandonnini, then director of the Museo...
A View of “A View from the Bridge”
And this view, regardless of perspective, intends to invite the viewer into a daunting realm of judgmental voyeurism . . . Set designer David Gallo’s drawing for the 1998 revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge was used to make adaptations to the theatrical set when the production transferred from the Roundabout Theatre...
Two white, stylized female figures and one black, stylized male figure on purple ground, with horizontally printed black and white sans-serif text
A Teetering Trio in a Pastel Void
Alvin Lustig designed numerous book covers for New Directions Publishing over the course of his prolific career, including several for Tennessee Williams’s plays. Lustig’s modernist designs, characterized by their dramatic simplicity, contrast with the voluptuous poetry and unapologetic melodrama of Williams’s writing. For this cover for A Streetcar Named Desire, Lustig choreographed a three-way dance...
Meet the Hewitts: Part Sixteen
In Meet the Hewitts Part 15, Au Panier Fleuri—possibly the first ever museum shop—flourished. The store sold objects created by students from the Cooper Union Women’s Art School inspired by designs in the collection of the Cooper Union Museum of the Arts of Decoration. In this snippet of “Meet the Hewitts,” we meet some students...
Meet the Hewitts: Part Fourteen
Meet the Hewitts: Part 13 traveled abroad with Sarah and Eleanor. This month, we travel back to their country estate of Ringwood Manor to take another look at the residence’s guest books. In Meet the Hewitts: Part Five and Part Eight, Margery Masinter and Sue Shutte wonderfully describe the events and country life of Ringwood Manor,...
Alternatives in Oz
Long before Wicked was the popular alternative to L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel and the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz, there was The Wiz. Subtitled “The Super Soul Musical ‘Wonderful Wizard of Oz’,” The Wiz, created by Charlie Smalls and William F. Brown, utilized the beloved characters from L. Frank Baum’s original novel,...
Cara McCarty Portrait
Meet the Staff: Cara McCarty
Can you explain a little bit about the type of work you do here at Cooper-Hewitt? As Curatorial Director, my primary responsibility is overseeing the Museum's collections and helping to shape the exhibition program. Major initiatives at the Museum are done collectively, with each division playing a role in decisions. One of the most visible...
DesignPrep: Curating Interaction Design
From cutting-edge karaoke to interactive chair mazes, students envision museum exhibitions of the future. On February 13, DesignPrep students met for their final of four sessions with Angela Chen and Erika Tarte, professional interaction and graphic designers from the firm Local Projects, to present their ideas developed over the prior three weeks. Inspired by works...