The Master Silk Printer
Elizabeth Broman discusses the 1920s trade catalogue The Master Silk Printer.
Baby on Board
Many southwest Chinese ethnic groups, especially the Miao, are known for their spectacular embroidery. Traditionally women’s work, embroidery was a Miao girl’s first attempt at needlework starting as early as four or five years old. Watching their mothers and other women in the community weave and embroider, they would later pass on this knowledge to...
When the West Looks East
The Chinese Chair, designed by Hans J. Wegner and manufactured by Fritz Hansen Inc. of Denmark, represents a piece of Western furniture inspired by the design aesthetic of Eastern culture. Capturing the nature of Chinese furniture design, the chair features soft, sloping, and rounded armrests, giving the shape an organic quality. Made in cherry wood,...
Something New and Something Blue
Just wanted to highlight something new for the Wallcoverings department. This is an actual textile produced in a weight appropriate for walls. The heavier weight allows this to be pasted and applied directly to the wall just like wallpaper without the need for a paper backing. Swirl is a non-repeating design of coiled colored fibers...
Image of drawings by IIonka Karasz.
Tabletop Geometry
Gail Davidson discusses modernist designer Ilonka Karasz's geometric iterations for tableware.
Sketchbooks and the Power of Process
Designers of all varieties—architects, graphic designers, painters—are aware of the importance and utility of sketchbooks in the creative process. The blank canvas of a sketchbook page allows the design process to occur in real time and encourages documentation of ideas that might otherwise be fleeting. The significance of sketchbooks as part of the creative process...
Summer Straw
Sample books, originally created for commercial, educational, or scientific purposes, have become valuable guides to understanding the products, technological processes, materials, aesthetics, provenance, and use of objects manufactured in the past. Both the Museum and Design Library have extensive collections of sample books containing diverse groups of samples ranging from paint chips to lace. This...
A Modern Identity
This 1947 print by graphic designer Alvin Lustig presents an early logo design for the Hollywood animation production studio United Productions of America (UPA), founded in 1943 and primarily active through 1960. The graphic identity’s bold black circle with its vertical brown band embraces a simple and modern approach to portraying a classic film reel,...
Now Entering Lines Forest
Lines Forest is a recently acquired wallpaper I am happy to write about. The design somewhat resembles a circuit board with its minimal rendering of design elements but the title clearly sets the record straight that this is a forest, though not necessarily one containing trees. The design is composed of strong verticals along with...