Image features: Length of heavy off-white cotton printed with a dense pattern of wedges and dots in light blue with dark shading. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this image.
Chips
In the aftermath of World War II, a number of textile producers attempted to revitalize the industry by enlisting recognized personalities in art and architecture to design screen prints. “Perhaps the most outstanding name collection is Stimulus Fabrics produced by Schiffer Prints,” Alvin Lustig wrote in American Fabrics Magazine in 1951. “There was not a...
Image features two circular bowls, one smaller than the other, made of translucent aqua-toned glass, their surfaces showing the textures and irregularities of the stone molds used to shape them. Please scroll down to read the blog post about these objects.
Glass Shaped in Volcanic Stone
Innovative designer, Emilio Godoy, first came to the museum’s attention for his concerns about environmental sustainability, materials, and efficiency in production. His Pablo and Pedro glass project emerged from “the analysis of the energy used in glass manufacturing, in particular, the energy and resources needed for the fabrication of metal molds” used to form glass...
Image shows one scene from a border illustrating Christopher Robin's discovery of the North Pole. Please scroll down for additional information on this object.
Winnie the Pooh
This post was originally published January 18, 2013 and is being reposted in a belated commemoration of A.A. Milne’s birthday and the creation of this wonderful story and its beloved characters. This children’s frieze captures the adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. This is a woodblock print and was produced within a year...
Image features an etching in black ink on white paper, showing an opulent bed with sumptuous hangings in an ornate room. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Bed for a King
This post was originally published on October 9th, 2014. An opulent bed, almost completely dominated by its hangings, pushes at the edges of the border in this etching by the French designer and architect, Daniel Marot. This design is for a state bed (lit d’apparat), a bed that was purely ceremonial rather than functional, and...
Image features a length of wool canvas with an irregular grid of embroidered floral and geometric borders. In gray, ochre, orange and white on a dark brown ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Borders
In 2005, Hella Jongerius was invited to curate a Selects exhibition at Cooper Hewitt. She became fascinated by the museum’s collection of over 1,000 embroidered samplers. For the exhibition, she made her own “Sampler Blankets,” which combined motifs drawn from the historic examples with industrial techniques like machine embroidery and needle-punch felting. These explorations were...
This image features Arctic inspired water service that includes a serving tray, water pitcher, cups, ice bowl. Reed & Barton, artistic workers in silver & gold plate. 1884.
On a Hot Summer’s Night….Icy Cold Silver
Does the frozen scenery on this Reed & Barton beverage set make you feel like the ice water is really icy?   More refreshing? Are you transported to frostier climes in faraway places? Icebergs “startle, frighten, awe; they astonish, excite, amuse, delight and fascinate”[1].   Depending on where you live, icebergs and polar bears can be as...
Image features a double-sided wastebasket in the shape of an inverted triangle with two triangular feet and a red interior. One side shows a black background with silver-toned rays emanating from top right corner and a 'cityscape' of colorful overlapping rectangles at the base. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Trashy Modernism
Tucked underneath a desk or in a corner of a room a wastebasket sits waiting to collect trash. While an often overlooked item of everyday life, it received the full attention of Donald Deskey. The designer, who established his career in New York in the 1920s, dedicated himself to reimagining the look of the American...
Image shows a mid-century wallpaper with cocktail and kitchen motifs. Please scroll down for additional information on this object.
Dig that Paper!
Author: Anne Regan This pop-culture inspired cocktail paper from the post-World War II era immediately evokes images of the model 1950s suburban home. Its imagery—mostly items used within the kitchen like fruits, coffee, cocktail drinks, and even poultry—reference a variety of trends in 1950s America. The chickens and roosters are representative of fertile animals, a...
Image features a poster for the New York Subway Advertising Company, encouraging businesses to purchase advertising space in subway stations or on trains. In the foreground, at bottom left, a single train's rail, rendered in perspective extends into a black, spiraling tunnel. At the vanishing point of the tunnel, a cluster of colorful, overlapping rectangles, meant to represent posters. Across the bottom, in black text: [New York Subway Advertising Company logo] RAILS TO SALES / SUBWAY POSTERS [a red line cuts through the center of "subway posters"]. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Rails to Sales on the New York City Subway
This poster, designed for the New York Subway Advertising Company, exemplifies the signature approach of American graphic designers Otis (Shep) Shepard and Dorothy Van Gorder—the poster prioritizes the image as text becomes peripheral to the overall message. It combines reductive, abstracted forms with ample airbrushing to create a dynamic arrangement. The pair met in 1927...