Image features a scene in a town: In the foreground to the left, long strips of colorful fabric hang from wooden poles. In the background to the right, people walk in front of a row of shops under a yellow sky. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Next Stop: Narumi
Though for centuries woodblock printing had been a prevalent method of inexpensively and widely disseminating religious texts in Japan, it was not until the eighteenth century that this technique blossomed to bolster the creation of pictorial compositions, more complex and richly colored than the written documents previously published. These prints, known as ukiyo-e, are both...
“How High the Moon”
In his How High the Moon chair, designer Shiro Kuramata utilizes an industrial material, steel mesh, to give a contemporary interpretation to the traditional club chair. The shape and proportions are based on an established Western form—a bulky, deeply upholstered easy chair with a low back and deep arms—but here, Kuramata’s use of an unexpected...
Image features a length of velvet with wales, having a repeating pattern of pointed oval stained glass windows set between vertical bands decorated with diamond shapes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
San Chapelle, le Premier
In 1923, E. Irving Hanson (American, 1878–1955), vice president of the textile firm H.R. Mallinson & Company, made a visit to France. With a long-standing interest in art and design, his trip inspired a group of six textiles based on famous places in that country, using iconic churches and gardens as its theme. In Paris,...
Image features a children's wallpaper illustrating the Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Little Boy Blue, Asleep on the Job
This is a charming children’s wallpaper based on the Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme. The design contains three different vignettes, arranged in trefoil format, each one illustrating a different line from the verse. A cow is shown in the first view, two sheep in the next, while the little boy in blue is shown sound...
Image features a drawing of a tall, obelisk-shaped tower with many floors of arched windows illuminating the structure. In front of the building, is a curved plaza lined with trees and dotted with small figures and a pool of water in the foreground. There are additional buildings and trees in the background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Indiana Tower: An Unrealized Monument
Today’s blog post was originally published on November 29, 2017. César Pelli passed away on July 19th, 2019. In addition to creating models, architects often think through the planning stages of a building’s design by producing detailed, hyper-realistic drawings. While they may lack technical notations denoting dimensions or materials, these drawings provide an overall sense...
Image features a spherical red portable television with a convex screen at the front, sitting on a square base. Chromed metal control knobs and a chain for hanging and carrying the set are housed in an indentation at the top, with a telescoping antenna to the right. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
One Small TV Set for Man, One Giant Leap for Pop Culture
The Videosphere portable television is one of the late twentieth century’s most iconic electronic devices. Manufactured by JVC from 1970 through the early 1980s, it renders the postwar preoccupation with space exploration in plastic and acrylic—modern materials perfectly suited to the Videosphere’s cosmic aesthetic. The TV was designed to be versatile and mobile: it rotates 360° on...
Image features a length of woven textile with a deep blue ground and pattern of curved intersecting lines in medium blue. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Albemarle
Among Sir Paul Smith’s upholstery fabrics for Maharam, the dominant motifs are bolder and quirkier versions of classic menswear patterns such as stripes, plaid, herringbone, and houndstooth check. In a significant departure, the designer has based his latest on an iconic architectural feature. Named for the central London street address of the flagship Paul Smith...
Image features a blue wallpaper with alternating images of a naval battle and a portrait of Commodore Isaac Hull. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Wallpaper Commemorates American Naval Victory
This wallpaper commemorates Commodore Isaac Hull and the first important American naval victory of the War of 1812 in a battle between the USS Constitution and the British frigate HMS Guerriere. Commodore Hull was credited for the victory owing to his superior seamanship, even though the Constitution was nearly 50% larger with a better firing...
An interior scene showing Christie's Auction Room in the year 1808 from the print series 'Microcosm of London.' A crowd stands in a high-ceilinged room, with cool green walls and light streaming in through high windows. Paintings in ornate and gilded frames are hung salon-style, seemingly jumbled, with vaguely recognizable classical compositions: here an Annunciation, there an Adoration, a saint, or an equestrian scene, a portrait. A framed reclining Venus (nude woman) is displayed on the auction stand, next to an auctioneer who gestures with his gavel. A lively and colorful crowd fills the room, with detailed dress and caricatured features.
Caricatured Christie’s
Comprised of 104 individual plates and published in three volumes between 1808 and 1810, The Microcosm of London was originally issued in twenty-six monthly parts. Published by Rudolph Ackermann (1764—1834), it supplied the luxury print market with a comprehensive volume on contemporary London. Cooper Hewitt holds a large number prints from the Microcosm, including this...