Author: Cynthia Trope

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Image features Circular green radio with semi-circular station dial at top front above circular brown textile-covered speaker with three vertical metal rods as grille; three circular control knobs below speaker. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Radio in the Round
The cost and large size of early radios made them status objects for the home. Their housings were made of wood and often imitated cabinet furniture in traditional styles. But, by the early 1930s and the rise of Modernism, sophisticated consumers began to update their interiors, and furnishings such as radios followed suit. In 1930,...
A photographic portrait of the Italian designer Alessandro Mendini, who recently passed away. Click on the image to read a remembrance of Mendini.
Remembering Alessandro Mendini (1931-2019)
Architect, designer, design theorist, critic, and journalist—all describe Alessandro Mendini, who died on February 18 at the age of 87. One of the key figures in modern Italian design, he was particularly known for his writings and contributions to the radical design and postmodern movements of the 1970s and 80s. After graduating in 1959 with a...
A photograph of industrial designer Charles Harrison, winner of the 2008 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement. Harrison wears a suit and tie and is seated next to white round table on which there is a copy of a biography of the designer.
Remembering Charles Harrison (1931-2018)
Cooper Hewitt remembers industrial designer and educator Charles Harrison, winner of the 2008 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, who passed away on November 29 at the age of 87. A prolific designer, Harrison created hundreds of pleasing, easy-to-use household products during his 32-year career with the retail giant Sears, Roebuck and Company. According to...
Image features vessel with longated conical shaped bowl; bowl has engraved decoration of female figure sitting on ruffled banner, scalloped ornamental bands at top and bottom and stars spaced throughout. Tall, thin six-sided stem with small notches on corners. Flat circular foot with ornamental bands that match bowl. Lid tapers to tall six-sided notched finial with knop. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Swedish Grace in Glass
This tall glass covered vessel was designed in 1923, by Edward Hald, artistic director of the Orrefors glassworks in Sweden. It features engraved decoration of a female figure seated on a fluttering banner, amid a field of stars bordered by scalloped bands. The delicate star and band motifs are carried through in the vessel’s tapered cover...
Image features a square ceramic tile with the large image of a fly seen from above, rendered in back and green glazes on a white ground. Please scroll down to read the blog about this object.
Pretty Fly for a Tea Tile
Author: Victoria Jenssen I grew up with Carol Janeway’s animal-themed tiles in my parents’ home, but only since my parents’ death at the turn of this century did I start researching Janeway’s career. My family’s amusing tiles were leftovers from my father’s career of the post-war 1940s when he crafted Janeway-designed hardwood frames for her...
Image features a four-tined silver dessert fork, its form suggesting a tulip on its sinuous, leaf-encased stem. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Tulip for the Table
This silver dessert fork from the “Tulip” pattern, was designed by Henrich Vogeler in 1898-99, and produced by the firm of M. H. Wilkens & Söhn  in Bremen, Germany. Vogeler’s Tulip pattern is one of the most graceful German flatware patterns of the Jugendstil period, and this particular piece shows the pattern well. Vogeler, trained as...
Image features an ornament in the form of a butterfly alighting on a blossom, depicted in bright blue kingfisher feathers, brown resin, and red and green foil-covered beads mounted on a sheet silver backing. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Symphony of Shimmering Iridescence
Author: Morgan Albahary Made in China around 1900, this small yet striking ornament depicts a delicate butterfly alighting on the plush petals of a blossoming flower. With its profusion of iridescent kingfisher feathers, which have been deftly cut and inlaid into delineated segments of silver sheet, the ornament’s materiality firmly grounds it within the tradition...
Image features upright triangular vase composed of blue, red, green and clear glass squares. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object
Like a Patchwork of light
To celebrate the opening of Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (May 11, 2018-January 13, 2019), Object of the Day this month will feature colorful objects from the exhibition. This post was originally published on January 1, 2013. Murano, an island located just north of Venice, Italy, in the Laguna Veneta, has been a glass-making center since...
Image features telephone comprising wedge-shaped black plastic body, the front with clear circular rotary dial with finger holes and surrounded by white numerals and letters; handset with earpiece at one end and speaker at other, set in cradle at top rear of telephone body; coiled black plastic-covered cord connects handset to body. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Before There Were Ringtones There Were Rings
In celebration of our new exhibition, The Senses: Design Beyond Vision, this Object of the Day post explores the multisensory experience of an object in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection. Today’s blog post was written by Cynthia Trope and originally published on March 7, 2013. If you grew up in America in the mid-1950s – 1980s, you no doubt...