Image features a poster consisting of white text on a black background. Upper center: The words "VISUAL AIDS" are printed with a cracked effect. Columns of text appear on the bottom with the names of arts organizations. Above the columns, in slightly larger, bolder text: “A Day Without Art December 1, 1989 A national day of mourning and call for action in response to the AIDS / crisis involving individuals and organizations including the following:”. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Day Without Art at Thirty
World AIDS Day (December 1), was designated in 1988 as an occasion to raise awareness of AIDS and to commemorate those lost to the disease. Developed by Visual AIDS, an organization that supports artists and communities affected by HIV and AIDS, this poster announces the first Day Without Art on December 1, 1989. Day Without...
Image features a poaster with blue and yellow background. In the foreground, an image of a Philips Miniwatt Type E444 diode-tetrode radio value lamp, in shades or grey and brown. "MiNiWATT" is printed in red, while "PHILIPS RADIO" is rendered in solid black letters, outlined in white. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
“i’s” or “eyes”
When legendary French graphic designer A.M. Cassandre was hired in 1931 to produce this poster for the Dutch light bulb and radio tube manufacturer Philips, he was at the high point of his career. Together with fellow poster designer Charles Lupton, Cassandre had founded the printing and publishing collective Alliance Graphique in Paris, France.[1] Cassandre...
Image feature a colorful wool border depicting birds and flowers. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Complexities of Cross Looping
During the period from around 100 B.C. to 400 A.D., Nasca needleworkers from the South Coast of Peru mastered the complex art of three-dimensional cross-looping. A number of colorful and complicated border fragments like this one have been preserved. The few garments that remain intact show that they were used as the outer edging attached...
Image features a six-sided bottle-form vase with a bulbous bottom, ascending into a narrow neck, and a rounded arrow like top. The white body is decorated with a symmetrical pattern of diamonds in black, yellow, and mint green. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Fennia for America
The remarkably graphic, geometric pattern of bright yellow and sea-green crystalline forms that map the surface of this elongated, arrow-like vase appear definitively modern. The origin of this decoration, though, is decidedly not. This vase was made by Arabia, the principal industrial pottery in Finland during the opening decade and a half of the twentieth...
Image features a wallpaper frieze with a bucolic scene of rolling hills, while picket fences, and groves of trees. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Dining with the Poppies
This is a fun frieze, also known as a wide border, produced in America during the early years of the twentieth century. It captures a bucolic scene of rolling hills, white picket fences, and fields of red poppies. I almost expect to see horses trotting by, or cows grazing. The design has a deep perspective...
A large textile with a grid of blue, purple and white squares is shown in a gallery display.
Imaging Indigo with Multiband Reflectance Subtraction
by Jessica Walthew (objects conservator), Kira Eng-Wilmot (textile conservator), and Pauline Nguyen (conservation intern) Nebula by Eduardo Portillo and María Dávila is made with a beautiful variety of fibers and dyes, including indigo in different intensities and in combination with the red dye cochineal to yield a dark purple color. This woven textile features an...
Image features a brochure with a diagram of the overall menstrual cycle on the front cover in pink, red, yellow, white, and black against a black background. White numbers representing days of the month are arranged in a circle, and different types of moons appear in white in the four corners. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Herbert Bayer, Master of the Universe
Herbert Bayer is known for his work as a student and teacher at the Bauhaus, the famous German art school that integrated art, design, and daily life. During Bayer’s formative years at the Bauhaus (1921–1928), he helped create the modern discipline of graphic design by using photography, type, and geometric systems to promote products and...
Textile with step motif in reds, oranges, and natural colors shown next to an ancient clay pot depicted wearing a tunic with the same motif.
Multiband Imaging of Cochineal-dyed textiles
by Jessica Walthew (objects conservator), Kira Eng-Wilmot (textile conservator),  and Pauline Nguyen (conservation intern) Several contemporary designers featured in our current exhibition Nature by Design: Cochineal (November 16, 2019–May 25, 2020) were inspired by historic materials and chose this fascinating cochineal dyestuff for their work. James Bassler’s textile Six X Four II is made with discontinuous warps...
The Interaction Lab: new approaches for an emergent landscape
Fantastically good at inspiring and educating visitors as trusted collectors and conservators of history, museums amplify cultural access by presenting stories and ideas that provoke rich dialogue about the past, present, and future.  In fact, according to the American Association of Museums (AAM), museums are considered to be the most trustworthy source of information around,...