Image features a poster depicting a series of mixers and sliders that categorize the albums of David Bowie between a set of extremes. Featuring seven columns for each album released between 1976-84, with "DAVID/ BOWIE" printed in silver ink in custom typography. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Less Ziggy, More Stardust
Today’s blog post was originally published on July 10, 2013. There are many ways to celebrate an anniversary.  To commemorate a decade of working together as the design duo Non-Format, Kjell Ekhorn and Jon Forss did not opt for the traditional gifting of tin, pewter, or aluminum.  Instead, they pooled their creative energies towards a personal...
Image features: Drapery sheer with vertical satin stripes, with an all-over irregular crinkle pleating. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Gin Fizz
Relying on innovative technologies to produce unusual surface textures, Jack Lenor Larsen (American, b. 1927) created Gin Fizz using a heat set process, which ultimately transforms a two-dimensional plane into a three-dimensional pleated surface. In his travels to Japan, Larsen met and befriended one of the most important twentieth century textile designers, Junichi Arai (Japanese,...
Image features a gold brooch of symmetrical geometric form reminiscent of a machine part; composed of a central shaft with two sets of ten small cylinders bundled around the center, encircled by a large beaded band at the center; conical terminals situated at each end of the central shaft with small beaded bands just inside. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Industrialization and Jewelry, Influences of the Machine
This very modern looking gold brooch dates to the 1870s. Its geometric form is comprised of cylindrical elements and tiny rivet-like bosses (round knobs, studs, or other protuberances). The symmetrical structure features a central shaft with two sets of ten small cylinders bundled around the center. Encircling these is a large beaded band at the...
Poster for The Chap-Book, August 1894. A woman dressed in blue at the center of the image stands in a wood, holding a pair of skates. The words The Chap / Book, printed in red cover the lower left portion of the poster.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
With the temperature outside at record highs this week, I can’t help but think of William Henry Bradley’s The Blue Lady. Clutching her ice skates in her left hand, she makes a cold winter’s stroll through the thin, bare trees look elegant and placid. The Blue Lady was Bradley’s second poster for The Chap-Book, America’s...
Image features a modernist wallpaper design with vases of stylized flowers against a white background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Modernist Wall Flowers
This is a fun, modernist wallpaper design most likely intended for a kitchen or breakfast nook. The high contrast colors, and the expanses of plain white background, give this design a very clean and fresh look. Three different bouquets of very stylized red flowers, each in a different vase on a shelf, is set against...
Image features: Illustration. Cover of The home decorator and color guide by Rockwell Kent. Published by [S.l.] : Sherwin-Williams, 1939. Smithsonian Libraries. Please scroll down to see the blog post about this object.
Rockwell Kent: Interior Decorator??
Rockwell Kent is famous as an early American modernist painter, printmaker, illustrator, writer, sailor and adventurer. Like many artists he did commercial and decorative work in order to earn money and pay the bills. The Cooper Hewitt Library has some examples of this commercial work – designing dinnerware, murals, bookplates, and this interior design and...
Image features: Quilt cover for a single bed. Red ground with design of stylized sunflowers and four groups of children engaged in reading, singing in a chorus with the red kerchiefs of the Young Pioneers, and dancing, some in ethnic costume. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Young Pioneers
The Young Pioneers of China, founded in 1949 as a Communist group for children aged six to fourteen, flies a red flag with a triangular cutout on its right edge. The group’s Constitution stipulates that members wear red scarves knotted around their necks to correspond with the flag’s missing section. This quilt cover depicts children...
Image features Inrō (container) in form of a turtle, with tail and feet drawn in and head partially extended. Divided into four horizontal compartments fitted into each other and lacquered black on inside. Strung on brown silk cord with turtle-shaped Ojime 1952-164-24 and Netsuke 1952-164-25. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Turtles All the Way Down
Turtle-shaped and strung with carved toggles and cord, this object instantly piques the curiosity of the viewer. The diminutive lacquered wood sculpture is, in fact, a Japanese container, referred to as an inrō, which is composed of separate compartments and held together with a cord. These small containers were often used as medicine boxes, containing...
Image features photograph of George “The Iceman” Gervin in a space filled with large ice cubes, holding a silver basketball in each hand, wearing a silver tracksuit with the word: ‘ICE’ embroidered on the chest. He wears white Nike sneakers. In lower margin: ICEMAN; lower left of photograph: NIKE logo. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Ice Ice Baby
Basketball star George Gervin never broke a sweat because he stayed cool under pressure. At least that’s what his teammates Julius Erving and Fatty Taylor thought when they nicknamed him “Iceman” in the early 1970s. But according to Gervin, his ability to remain dry throughout a game had nothing to do with a calm demeanor....