Paper Wave
The original idea behind the Finnish design firm, Woodnotes, was to combine artistic creativity with inspiration from two basic Finnish materials: wood and paper. All of the products by Woodnotes utilize paper yarn that is spun from durable kraft paper. The amount of paper used in the textile varies between 70–100%, with cotton as the...
Desk Ware from a Simpler Time
In this age of electronic assistants, it is hard for many to fathom a time when telephone service was limited and mail, or what today is referred to as “snail mail”, was the order of the day. During the early decades of the twentieth century written letters were the most common form of communication, and...
"The Forest' scenic wallpaper panel from Schmitz-Horning Co.
The Outside Comes Inside
The Schmitz-Horning Co. wall decoration catalogue from 1913-1914 is one of the Cooper Hewitt Design Library’s many trade catalogues. Schmitz-Horning Co. opened in 1905 as a wallpaper and mural manufacturing firm in Cleveland, Ohio.
Boisterous and Blazing
The 1967 “Summer of Love” in San Francisco ushered in a wave of music lovers, rock bands, and graphic artists. Psychedelia drifted through the air and inspired the creation of free-form, vibrant compositions in all creative fields. Concert posters became the relics of the San Francisco music scene, created to promote music and dance venues...
Silver and Gold
As the holidays draw near and decorations go up we begin to see the traditional hues of red and green, and their counterparts, silver and gold, appear around every corner. In accordance with this timing, it is appropriate to examine wallpapers that really exemplify this vein. Ceiling papers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth...
Concord Sampler
Hannah Cutter’s sampler is part of a large group of related examples worked from about 1790 until at least 1805 in Boston or nearby towns in Middlesex County. Typical characteristics of these samplers are deeply arcaded borders surrounding a central panel comprising an alphabet, verse, and pictorial elements framed by a saw-tooth border. The pictorial...
Up Close With the Pixel Chair
This chair is included in the exhibition Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age, on view at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum through January 15, 2018. This Pixel chair (prototype) is part of a series of twelve unique Makerchairs designed by Joris Laarman and fabricated by Joris Laarman Lab. To make the bending grid...
Waste Not
In pre-industrial Japan, aprons were a basic element of everyday dress, worn by children and adults to protect one’s clothing, which was infrequently cleaned. Some form of apron was worn by workers of all sorts, from shop-keeping to field work to fishing. Like other work clothes, aprons were often made of repurposed cloth, as this...
Natural Abstraction
Full of life, movement, and color, this design for a wallpaper is a reproduction of Chinese wallpaper by one of the leading antique and wallpaper scholars of her day, Nancy McClelland. McClelland is known for her attention to detail and meticulous research that went into each of her reproductions. She was also a successful interior...