Author: Adrienne Meyer

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Image features sepia-toned book cover showing furnished interior. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Dear Godwin
In 1877, commercial designer and architect Edward William Godwin collaborated with furniture manufacturer William Watt to produce this trade catalogue held in the Cooper Hewitt Library. Godwin was considered the most innovative designer of the Aesthetic Movement. A brief but pivotal moment in the history of the decorative arts, Aestheticism strove to bring art into...
Tomitudes
As a graduate student at the Cooper-Hewitt, I experienced a textile collection containing some of the most beautiful and valuable fabrics in the world. But the object I found most intriguing was a mass-produced cotton handkerchief (c.1853) printed with scenes from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Known in its day as a “Tomitude”, the kerchief is a...
Small piece of white fabric with two woven pictures in shades of black, white and grays. On top, a portrait of Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) after a portrait by Jean-Claude Bonnefond (1796-1860). Below, a picture of a loom with the Jacquard punch-card mechanism. Woven on a loom equipped with a Jacquard mechanism by Carquillat (died 1884).
Meet Monsieur Jacquard
One of the first objects to enthrall me in the Cooper-Hewitt collection was a small double portrait which I casually dismissed as “just another engraving.” When I learned that this meticulously detailed image of French inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) and the machine he created was, remarkably, a woven piece of fabric…I was hooked. It was...
Detail of binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe of London, ca. 1907
Bound to be Beautiful
One of the treasures of our collection, Wine Women and Song, has a fascinating history. This elaborately bound first edition of John Addington Symond’s 1884 English translation of 13th-century medieval drinking songs was produced in England in 1907 by bookbinders Sangorski & Sutcliffe, renowned for their intricate bindings ornamented with gilt work and precious stones....
Illustrated cartoon spider
Beware of the Goblin Spider! A haunting children’s illustrated book
Everyone loves a scary story, especially on Halloween. Noted writer and linguist Lafcadio Hearn’s 1910 English translation of the ancient Japanese ghost tale, The Goblin Spider, transports children of all ages to an exotic world of samurai warriors, haunted temples, and monstrous goblin spiders. According to the tale, there used to be many goblin spiders in...