Image features a ring composed of an wide adjustable silver band featuring a large piece of iridescent abalone shell with a lustrous baroque pearl. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Find a Treasure at the End of the Rainbow
The colors of the rainbow are captured in this ring by Francisco Rebajes, highlighting the luminescence that naturally occurs in abalone shell and pearls. This adornment for the hand  is composed of an adjustable silver band featuring a lustrous mass of shell from the abalone, a type of sea snail, combined with a baroque pearl...
Conserving the Surtout de Table: Cut Glass
Written by Sarah Barack, Head of Conservation, Senior Objects Conservator Thanks to a generous gift from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, Cooper Hewitt’s spectacular surtout de table centerpiece was the focus of a recent technical study and conservation treatment by the museum’s conservation department. In this series of posts, conservators will be sharing the results of...
Image features a roughly square book in the form of a bright red plastic portfolio with a T-shaped handle at the top. The cover is embellished with a large silver-toned letter Y with the word YLEM superimposed in red. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Maverick’s Futuristic Manifesto
Author: Evelyn Meynard Published in 1971, Ylem is a manifesto that contains a collection of designs and texts by the German industrial designer Luigi Colani, held in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Library .
Image features a wallpaper with a scrolling floral design printed to imitate a silk damask. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Rococo Influences
This floral wallpaper was produced in the early 20th century where the large-scale floral motif and scrolling stem and foliage convey the organic and sensuous nature of the art nouveau style. This paper is part of an unbound wallpaper sample book that contained a wide variety of designs in the art nouveau and Mission styles....
Image features three swimmers in the midst of a race, rendered in oranges and blues. The poster is for the Munich Olympic Games of 1972. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Going for Gold
For the organizers of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, the event presented an opportunity to redefine global perceptions of German identity. It was seen as a chance for Germany to distance itself from the dark memory of the 1936 Games in Berlin, staged under Hitler’s rule. A primary objective for the 1972 Games, as scholars...
Image features a pastel pink hand-held mixer with metal plate under a long handle; on/off switch and speed control at side and top of handle; white underside with two circular openings at front to receive two removable metal beaters. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Mixing Food and Matching Colors
In 1955 General Electric released a line of kitchen appliances available in what they called “mix-and-match colors.” From canary yellow dishwashers to cadet blue refrigerators, one could construct an entire kitchen with G.E.’s colorful products. A two-page spread in Better Homes and Gardens from 1956 explained how one could entirely modernize his or her kitchen...
Image features a length of woven textile with an off-white ground and irregular squares and rectangles in different twill weaves and different fibers, in ivory, copper, gray, and dark brown. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Present Perfect
Manufactured by Dedar, the furnishing fabric Present Perfect has the visual qualities of a hand-embroidered textile, with its asymmetrical and punctuated patterning, but it is a jacquard-woven fabric that plays with texture and light. The abstract composition of geometric shapes realized with yarns of different thicknesses, colors, and material is distinctive against the jute and...
Image features a wallpaper with two columns of triangles, black on one side, gray on the other. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Triangle Illusions
I came across this unusual mid-century paper that I thought was designed for use as a focal wall, a very common wall treatment of the period. Initially I passed it by, thinking it was not interesting enough for an Object of the Day blog, but then I found an advertisement in an Interiors magazine that...
A dark brown paper stencil with a cut-away pattern of triangles joined in lines of two or three.
Martial Iris
In the traditional Japanese craft of katagami, paper stencils are carved by master artisans for use in decorating textiles. Documented since at least the sixteenth century, the technique developed out of methods originally devised for embellishing leather armor. Some common katagami motifs record this history: the stylized iris pattern that appears on this stencil symbolizes bravery....