Arches, Step in and Explore
Arches is from the first collection of murals Ilonka Karasz designed in 1948 for Katzenbach & Warren, the New York wallpaper firm for whom she designed almost exclusively. Like the majority of her murals it was printed in the blueprint process, her favorite reproduction process for murals as it captured all the nuances of her...
A Harrisburg Sampler
This sampler was worked in 1828 [or 1825] by Ann E. Kelly at the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, school of Leah Maguire. The central scene is either biblical or classical, and was undoubtedly inspired by a yet to be identified print source. It depicts a woman holding a long garland of flowers who appears to making a...
Swedish Folklore and Industrial Design
The mermaid, a creature formed from the upper body of a woman and the tail of a fish, has long been a legendary figure in folklore. From animated films to the sea creatures of sailor lore, the mermaid has been the subject of speculation and admiration. This green-glazed bowl with silver trim designed by Wilhelm...
Cross-Cultural Ornamentation: A Pair of Side Tables
Cheryl R. Riley is a contemporary artist and furniture designer, whose work examines the stylistic and societal parallels between distinct cultures.[1] Riley is inspired by African diasporic iconography and subject matter, and its connection to other international and historical modes of cultural expression.[2] Riley explains, “My work is typically a mash-up of world cultures with...
Fleeting Scenes
Stage designs occupy a unique place among Cooper Hewitt’s diverse holdings of works on paper. Unlike architectural fantasies or unrealized buildings, the intentional ephemerality of theater designs means that set designs, photographs, and models are often the only artifacts that remain to document these temporary spaces. The museum’s collection of stage designs spans the 17th...
Ancient Ruins Made Modern
Wallpaper production was dominated by French manufactures in the 18th and 19th centuries, a time period which is often regarded as the “golden age” of wallpaper. The quality of design and material, as well as the quantity of paper created aptly distinguishes this period. Starting around the mid-18th century, French manufactures and designers were able...
A Roosevelt Commemorative
This woven bookmark with President Theodore Roosevelt was made for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, an international exposition celebrating the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The exposition also was known informally as the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904 and was held from April 30th to December 1st. The bookmark was manufactured by the Anderson Brothers...
Double Golden Dragons
This extraordinary chalice takes its inspiration from dragon-stem goblets made by the legendary Venetian glassworkers in the seventeenth century. In this example, also made in Venice but in the late nineteenth century by Salviati & Company, the dragons have been elevated to the body of the cup. Several remarkable glassworking techniques are on display in this object....
A French Silversmith in Mexico
In 1941, famed French Art Deco silversmith Jean Puiforcat (1897-1945) wrote news from Mexico to his daughter, Claude, in Paris: “The country is truly marvelous; this captivating natural landscape accentuated by a civilization that goes back to the mist of time.”[1] Escaping German-held France, Puiforcat, soon joined by his family, fled to Mexico, establishing a...