White background with black design. Black and white photograph of jazz musician Roscoe Mitchell occupies lower three-quarters of cover, set in black circle, with black concentric rings emanating outward. Upper one-quarter is white with black, blocky stylized lettering: Sound/ Roscoe/ Mitchell, and Sextet perpendicularly.
Laini Abernathy, Black Graphic Designer
Laini (Sylvia) Abernathy (who died in 2010) was an artist, designer, and activist. Cooper Hewitt is collecting album covers designed by this important designer, who contributed to the Black cultural scene in the late 1960s. Abernathy was part of the Black Arts Movement (BAM) in Chicago. BAM, a national movement founded after the assassination of...
Coronavirus illustration
Collecting Design Now: Cooper Hewitt’s new Responsive Collecting Initiative
In September this year, we launched Cooper Hewitt’s Responsive Collecting Initiative (RCI), a new effort at the museum to solicit, review, and ultimately add objects to the museum’s permanent collection that tell design stories about the historic moments we are living through. Back in March, we found ourselves in lockdown like the rest of the...
A gif of falling snowflakes on a light blue ground plays on the screen of a still, beige rectangular computer with a floppy disc drive and a rainbow stripe Apple Inc. logo, connected to a plastic keyboard and mouse with wires.
Snazzy Backgrounds for Your Virtual Holiday Party
‘Tis the season for virtual holiday parties. ❄ Following the first installment of our virtual wallpaper series, 7 Funky Backgrounds For Your Next Virtual Happy Hour, we’ve pulled a new selection from Cooper Hewitt’s vast collection of wallcoverings for you to use to spruce up your video conference background.  Download your favorite wallcoverings below. We’ve...
Deja Vu: 2011 NDA Winner Rick Valicenti Recalls Two Iconic Poster Designs
Rick Valicenti is a legendary graphic designer, whose career spans the transition from analog to digital design production. Rick spoke with Cooper Hewitt curator Ellen Lupton about his design process over Zoom on October 23, 2020. Edited for clarity and length. Ellen Lupton:  Rick, where are you? Rick Valicenti:  I am in a garage in...
Image features a rough sketch in black, gray, tan, and blue, showing a long corridor that terminates in a view through a window onto a central stone garden. The view highlights the mirrored surface on the opposite side of the garden, which reflects the colors of the sky and landscape, here suggestive of a colorful sunset. Please scroll down to read the blog about this object.
An Infinite Reflecting Vista
In celebration of  National Design Month, October’s Object of The Week posts honor past National Design Award winners. This post was originally published on November 10, 2016. In the late 1990s, the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) in Tacoma, Washington announced its plan to relocate from the bank building that it had occupied since 1935 to...
Image features: Columns of irregularly spaced stripes, each stripe alternating rectangles of black and white with rectangles of bright orange and pink. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A New Way With Color
In celebration of National Design Month, October’s Object of the Week posts honor past National Design Award winners. In 2011, Knoll won a National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement. The company, known for fostering many talented international designers over the decades, is represented by more than 170 objects in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection.  ...
Image features a length of wallpaper printed in black on a light gray ground, showing a stylized rendering of a forest with trees represented as strong vertical lines with periodic circular, oval, and conical masses of foliage. The differing scales and overlapping lines create a shallow sense of depth. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Now Entering Lines Forest
In celebration of National Design Month, October’s Object of The Week posts honor past National Design Award winners. This post was originally published on July 9, 2017. This wallpaper by Geoff McFetridge somewhat resembles a circuit board with its minimal rendering of visual elements, but the title, “Lines Forrest,” clearly sets the record straight that...
Image features a ceramic tea service composed of a hot water pot, sugar bowl, creamer, and cup and saucer. Each simple cylindrical vessel is decorated on one side with a colorful urban scene featuring a Soviet monument or state building in Leningrad. The opposite side of each piece is decorated with a gilded image of a historical site in Leningrad. The pieces are further embellished with classically-inspired gilded ribbons and marshal trophies at the edges, spouts, and loop handles. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this service.
An Early Eva Zeisel Design
In celebration of National Design Month, October’s Object of The Week posts honor past National Design Award winners. A version of this post was published on November 13, 2012. Eva Zeisel, a major figure in twentieth-century industrial design, won the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2005. Although best known for her contributions to mid-century...
Image features: Three white-on-white patterned textiles sewn together, each having four selvages. The two outer textiles are patterned with stripes of geometric shapes including a bird. The center is patterned with zigzag bands, one above the other, to form an elongated diamond shape. Head opening is uncut. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this image.
Translucent Cloth
September is New York Textile Month, a citywide celebration of textile creativity. As in past years, the museum is collaborating with the Textile Society of America. A non-profit professional organization of scholars, educators, and artists in the field of textiles, TSA provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of information about textiles worldwide....