Image features the cover of the book Years Yet Yesterday. "Y YEARS YET YESTERDAY Y," in red letters is superimposed over the word "Contaminated"in a gray circle on a white background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Years Yet Yesterday
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. Mark Addison Smith is a notable artist’s book designer who specializes in typographic storytelling. He uses illustrative text to create a visual narrative through print, artists’ books, and site installations. For over 10 years, Mark Addison...
Image features a cuff bracelet of roughly circular form composed of two intertwined curved strands of silver containing a central irregular triangular panel. The silver surface has passages of dark patination. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Art in Metal: The Modernist Jewelry of Greenwich Village’s Art Smith
From the archives, an Object of the Day post on the jewelry of Art Smith, one of the designers featured in Jewelry of Ideas.
Image features a rendering of a draped female figure with fairy wings turned toward the right, holding an outstretched cord between her hands. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Beautiful Bills
With her butterfly wings, this artfully draped female figure would seem more at home decorating a theater than ornamenting U.S. currency.  Yet the designer, Walter Shirlaw, clearly labeled his drawing “Bank Note Design.” Shirlaw left school at the age of twelve and apprenticed himself to a bank note engraving company, believing that it would help...
Image features a cylindrical vase of thick-walled clear glass with internal decoration of small translucent green discs, many topped by a small air bubble. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Panther with Leopard Spots
Saara Hopea (later Saara Hopea-Untracht) began her career as a furniture and lamp designer, but started designing glassware in about 1952, at a time when Finnish design was gaining prominence on the world stage for its strong attention to materials and sense of organic form in a modern idiom. Kaj Frank, Hopea’s former teacher at...
Image features: Constructivist-inspired design of ships, cranes, steel girders, and buildings in black and dark yellow on an off-white ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Machine Imagery
This Constructivist-inspired textile likely was produced in the United States during the mid-to-late 1920s. The designer is presently unknown, but presumably was an individual familiar with Russian Constructivist design principles, which took inspiration from the industrial world. Printed in dark yellow and black on creamy off-white silk satin, the textile has an overall design of...
Image shows a wallpaper with interlocked drapery swags and lace border. Please scroll down for additional information on this piece.
Draping the Walls
I wanted to share this unusual trompe l’oeil drapery wallpaper, where a length of fabric swags slightly then twists around another fabric swag, creating a diaper or trellis-like pattern. The fabric is adorned with a lace trim and tassels made of strung pearls. The bottom section of this panel is a wide border that shows...
Image features a magazine cover consisting of a black and white photograph of Howard Stern with three large superimposed red blocks containing slanted white text in Futura Bold forming the phrase, “I hate myself,” with a smaller block below adding, “and you love me for it.” “Esquire” is printed in red along the top of the design. Printed in red blocks, also with Futura Bold slanted white text, upper left: Shocking but True! / HOWARD STERN / BLITZES AMERICA / By Barbara Kruger. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Conceptualizing a Cultural Icon
Known for her bold engagement with popular culture and mass communication, American conceptual artist Barbara Kruger provokes and entices the viewer with her cover design for the May 1992 issue of Esquire. Featuring a close-up, black and white photograph of the controversial shock-jock Howard Stern, the superimposed text obscures significant portions of his face, excluding...
Image features a lamp with a three-tiered shade composed of three stacked glass circles of graduated sizes, all on a simple dark brown metal base consisting of a vertical rod on a circular foot. The lamp is topped by a circular dark metal screw-on cap. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A New Form for a New Technology
Danish architect and designer Poul Henningsen’s interest in light and lighting started at a young age when as a child in the 1900s, he observed the sharp glare from fixtures housing bare electric bulbs in his family home. Electric lighting was new, and older lighting devices, such as candlesticks or gas lamps, were being adapted...
Image features: Long-sleeved, knee-length, reversible coat in needle-punched felt made from recycled sweaters. One side is a dark irregular plaid of blacks and blues, the other a patchwork of blue-tone knit fabrics. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
As part of Eileen Fisher’s numerous sustainability efforts, the company committed to taking back used Eileen Fisher garments from its customers. Since 2009, with almost no promotion of the initiative, over 600,000 garments were returned. About 40% are still usable; they are cleaned and repaired in the company’s recycling centers in Irvington, NY and Seattle...