Author: Stephen Van Dyk

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Cooper Hewitt Short Stories: The Fantastic Beasts of Robert Winthrop Chanler
In the last Cooper Hewitt Short Story, we tweeted about birdcages and their passionate collector, Alexander Drake. April’s Short Story—by Stephen Van Dyk, Head Librarian at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library—confronts birds and beasts not confined to cages, but rather fantastical interiors and the illustrated pages of library books. Margery Masinter, Trustee, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian...
The New Bauhaus
This rare catalog details the curriculum, philosophy, faculty, and objectives of the School of Design in Chicago in the early 1940s. It is essentially a promotional guide geared to perspective students. The New Bauhaus, as the institution was called, was created as an industrial design school by Hungarian born Bauhaus masters László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) and...
Ornamente von Bruno Mauder. Plauen i Vogtl: Christian Stoll, 1910.
Wiener Werkstȁtte Designs
Bruno Mauder (1877-1948), a designer of glass art, studied at the School of Applied Arts in Munich from 1899 to 1901 and in 1909, was appointed director of technical school for glass industry and wood carving in Zwiesel, Germany. For the next 40 years, Mauder worked as a glass designer in this area including the...
Uplighting, Deco Style
Two rare Art Deco period catalogues, newly acquired by the CHM library, include illustrations with accompanying specifications and cost for more than 100 glass lighting fixtures manufactured by Meissner Glasraffinerie of Dresden dating circa 1930.  Their factory was located at Coswig on the river Elbe situated between Meissen and Dresden, Germany. Not much is recorded...
Modern Times
This fold out brochure is in the collection of the Cooper Hewitt Library Special Collections. It’s accompanied by a price list and order form, created by manufacturer Steubenville Pottery Company of Steubenville, Ohio and dating between 1939 and 1959, promotes more than 30 pieces of American Modern dinnerware designed by industrial designer Russel Wright (1904-1976). ...
Tiffany & Co. at the Chicago Fair
Founded in 1837, Tiffany & Co. by the late 19th century had become one of the leading manufacturers and retailers in America of fine jewelry and luxury items.  This small catalog lists items on display from Tiffany & Co.  in the Manufacturers and Liberal Arts Building at the Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.  The...
(L) image of leather cover (R) image of ottoman tassel Detail from Schwarz, Philip. Novelties in Laces for Furniture and Decoration. Vienna: Druck von Stockinger & Morsack, 188-?.
Dressing the Interior: Philip Schwarz’s Novelties
Novelties in Laces for Furniture and Decoration is a set of one hundred and fifty color lithographic prints depicting over one hundred and ninety unique tassel and trim designs. The designs incorporate gimp, braid, galloon, bows, flies, and bobbles. Color reveals details of ply, twist, pile, and luster, and highlights and lowlights provide a sense of...
black and white print of dinning wear
A Pickle Fork for Every Occasion
The roots of the firm Reed & Barton in Taunton, Massachusetts, go back to several ownerships starting in 1824, and by 1840 the firm of the silversmiths Reed & Barton was firmly established.  They created high quality goods that could compete with European and British silversmithing.  They achieved success as both a manufacturer and marketer...
Dickinsons' book cover
A Crystal Palace
English publishers William Robert Dickinson (1815-1887), Lowes Cato Dickinson (1819-1908) and Gilbert Bell Dickinson (1825-1908) received a royal commission to compile this colorful folio commemorating Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations held in Hyde Park, London May to October, 1851. The folio includes 55 chromolithographic plates depicting the building and exhibitions of...