On cream ground, design for a six-wheeled double-decker Greyhound bus in three-quarter profile view. At the front of the automotive, a large windshield, the word "CHICAGO" in silver text on a black plaque immediately below. Centered below the destination is the Greyhound logo, an elongated running white hound on copper ground. Below the logo, a large streamlined chrome grille, which wraps around the sides of the bus, accentuating the windows of the seats on the lower level. A red license plate at front reads "1946-X BUS" with small round white and yellow headlights on either side. The destination city of Chicago appears again on the side of the vehicle, with the Greyhound logo behind, in this instance with the dog on a diagonal ground of red, white, and blue stripes. Views through the windows show at least ten rows of four plushly upholstered seats on the upper level, and approximately five rows on the lower level, allowing for mechanical and luggage storage in the lower rear of the vehicle. The frontmost wheel has a shiny chrome hubcap covering the wheel disc, while the rear wheels have an exposed rim and disc. The bus casts a pale shadow on the ground, which is indicated by two parallel diagonal lines.
Away We Go!
On July 9, 1947, Look magazine ran a feature article on the fastest growing form of transportation in America: intercity buses. “Bus travel, according to the sworn word of many highway fans,” the author wrote, “is the best way to make a sightseeing holiday trip.”[1] The post-war boom in bus travel was indebted, in part,...
Glorious Views Made More Accessible
This photomural of Jackson Lake is one of three such murals introduced by Foto Murals of California in 1948. Each mural was available in a black and white, or sepia version, and measured approximately 90×180 inches. Each photo was captured by a world renowned landscape photographer, and because of a special process developed by Foto...
Hybrid Pattern
Mathilde Flögl was a prolific and multi-disiplinary designer at the Wiener Werkstätte. Her experience as a graphic designer translated well for much of the surface design she executed in wallcoverings, glass, ceramics and textiles. She created ceramic figurines, assisted Josef Hoffmann with the ornamental elements in his metal work and interiors, and designed lace patterns...
Snow is in the Forecast
This is one of a very few wallpapers showing winter-related motifs. The design contains six different snowflakes that repeat twice across the width of the paper. This pattern was introduced in 1929 and is designed in a modernist style. Even today it still looks fresh and modern, printed in a single color on a solid...
Cooper Hewitt Short Stories: Cooper Union in Black & White
In last month’s Cooper Hewitt Short Story, wallcoverings curator Greg Herringshaw introduced different styles of wallcoverings collected by the Hewitt sisters that are now housed in Cooper Hewitt’s expansive collection. This month, Forrest Pelsue, publishing master’s fellow in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies at Parsons Paris, takes us on a journey to 1939...
Fruits of all Stripes
From squash to cherries and peppers to pineapple, Marion Weeber’s button designs are as simple as they are charming.  Her evocative shapes, bright colors, and whimsical stripe patterns unify this disparate array of fruits and vegetables, drawn in graphite and painted with watercolor.  The buttons themselves were made of individually molded celluloid-a synthetic plastic.  Cooper...
Six Years and Twenty-one Days
Elizabeth Ann Harpin Andrew was born on September 26, 1749, and stitched this sampler at the age of six. She ornamented her work with highly stylized floral motifs, framed with four-leaf clovers in a chain-link border. Elizabeth recorded the sampler’s completion date as October 17, 1755, and carefully calculated her age on that date as...
Simple Materials and a Prickly Texture Raise the Question, “What is it”?
This “pin” brooch, made in 1992 by jeweler Beppe Kessler, was part of a larger collection of “pin” brooches, each piece one of a kind. The series itself was derived from an installation by Kessler, also in 1992, which involved hanging large rounded, pin cushions on a wall. The brooches are an outgrowth of this...
An Architect’s Touch
The Danish designer Arne Jacobsen believed in the artist’s complete control over a project. Though originally trained as an architect, he had a hand in all aspects of his buildings’ designs, including the interiors. His works might be considered examples of Gesamtkunstwerk, or the total work of art, because of his individual and obsessive control...