Author: Merit Myers

SORT BY:
New to the Collection: Gifted Jewlery
by Emily M. Orr, Associate Curator and Acting Head, Product Design and Decorative Arts The American artist George Rickey (1907-2002) made his reputation with monumental yet minimalist masterpieces of kinetic sculpture that enliven outdoor spaces around the world, most recently New York City’s Park Avenue. Rickey created energetic spirals, “space churns” (fig. 1), clusters of...
Five Questions with Maria Nicanor
Maria Nicanor, an architecture and design historian and curator, is the new director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Nicanor brings a rich background in architecture and design to the role and has an established career in museum and curatorial work, having held positions at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Victoria & Albert...
Spring into Membership
by Merit Myers, Membership Coordinator Surrounded by colorful blossoms and birds singing to the neighborhood, I write to you from my favorite bench on the north western edge of the museum’s Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden. Sitting here, I enjoy a kind of outdoor exhibition — one that changes its colors and activities as the...
Cooper Hewitt’s Founding Women
Sarah (1859–1930) and Eleanor (1864–1924) Hewitt were pioneers in the field of design education who established what is known today as Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Growing up, Sarah and Eleanor were immersed in a world of art and books, and the family traveled to Europe every year. Their insatiable curiosity led them to buy...
Image of the Carnegie Mansion overlaying an illustrated rising sun.
On the Horizon
Matilda McQuaid, Acting Director of Curatorial Cooper Hewitt celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2022.  This extraordinary milestone will be marked by the exhibition, Sarah & Eleanor Hewitt: Designing a Modern Museum, which honors our founders and their remarkable roles as collectors, philanthropists, and educators. The Hewitt sisters’ aspirations provide the foundation for our mission today—to...
Two women's portraits framed by graphic circles creating cameo spots of each woman. An angular pattern travels across the picture behind the figures and a diagonal line separates the two women with a grey field of color on the left and an orange field on the right.
Are you a Sarah or an Eleanor?
Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt, the sisters who established the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration in 1897 and granddaughters of famed industrialist Peter Cooper, used their considerable means and impressive intelligence to amass a collection comprised of centuries of furniture, textiles, drawings, wallcoverings, and more—the basis of the collection now housed at Cooper...
A Library Grows
by Stephen Van Dyk, Librarian Emeritus, Smithsonian Institution In commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, we honor donors such as Robert Winthrop Chanler whose collection greatly enhanced the diversity, depth, and richness of the museum’s rare book library. Chanler, a friend of founders Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt, willed his collection...
Ink drawing of animals surrounding a crest with hand-written notes by the artist regarding payments to a tailor.
Stradanus Sketchbook Project
by Julia Siemon, Assistant Curator Cooper Hewitt recently launched the “Stradanus Sketchbook Project,” a multi-year initiative supported by a major grant from the J. Paul Getty Foundation. This ambitious project centers on the work of Johannes Stradanus (Netherlandish, 1523­–1605), a principal artist at the Medici court in Renaissance Florence, who was also a prolific and...
Stories of a Mansion
by Elaine Gerstein, Cooper Hewitt Design Guide As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, it is interesting to note that before the museum opened in 1976, the Carnegie Mansion had an amazing history of its own. The mansion was built from 1899–1902 for Andrew Carnegie, said to be at...