Author: Cynthia Trope

Image features a cuff bracelet of roughly circular form composed of two intertwined curved strands of silver containing a central irregular triangular panel. The silver surface has passages of dark patination. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Art in Metal: The Modernist Jewelry of Greenwich Village’s Art Smith
From the archives, an Object of the Day post on the jewelry of Art Smith, one of the designers featured in Jewelry of Ideas.
Image features a cylindrical vase of thick-walled clear glass with internal decoration of small translucent green discs, many topped by a small air bubble. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Panther with Leopard Spots
Saara Hopea (later Saara Hopea-Untracht) began her career as a furniture and lamp designer, but started designing glassware in about 1952, at a time when Finnish design was gaining prominence on the world stage for its strong attention to materials and sense of organic form in a modern idiom. Kaj Frank, Hopea’s former teacher at...
Image features a lamp with a three-tiered shade composed of three stacked glass circles of graduated sizes, all on a simple dark brown metal base consisting of a vertical rod on a circular foot. The lamp is topped by a circular dark metal screw-on cap. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A New Form for a New Technology
Danish architect and designer Poul Henningsen’s interest in light and lighting started at a young age when as a child in the 1900s, he observed the sharp glare from fixtures housing bare electric bulbs in his family home. Electric lighting was new, and older lighting devices, such as candlesticks or gas lamps, were being adapted...
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...