about

Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection includes more than 210,000 objects, which span thirty centuries and a wide variety of materials. The Conservation Department cares for and studies these pieces to ensure their preservation for today and into the future. Conservators provide expertise in the conservation of works on paper, textiles, and three-dimensional objects made of media ranging from brittle glass to pliable plastic. Sarah Barack, Head of Conservation and Senior Objects Conservator, offers a further introduction to the department.

Explore below the department’s work related to the museum’s collection and exhibitions and follow Cooper Hewitt’s Conservation Department on Instagram @cooperhewittconservation.

Glass table formed by a circular top on tripod base composed of three angled, oval legs. Glass iridizes and changes color depending on angle of view.
Year of Glass: Specialty Glasses with Special Effects
Laminated glasses have many practical and aesthetic uses, and, when combined with modern applications of ancient technologies, can have dazzling effects.
A sleek table consisting of a slender arc joining two legs and a table top. The table is deep red in color and from the table top descends a column of 32 stylized black feathers.
Year of Glass: Feathers from Volcanic Glass
Gloria Cortina creates stylized feathers from black obsidian in contemporary homage to Mexico's past and present cultures.
Eyeglass-like frame with a simple band on the left earpiece and on the right earpiece a glass prism and plastic housing for a camera and other technical elements.
Year of Glass: Google Glass
In Google Glasses, glass interfaces with digital technology to augment the world around us.
A round-cornered gray television screen suspended on a rounded brass bracket. The bracket is centered on a beige, rectangular platform.
Year of Glass: Picture in a Tube
Once a ubiquitous staple of home entertainment, CRT televisions were a technical marvel. Learn about the physics and engineering that made the transmitted moving image possible with the help of glass.
A group of transparent, colorless, starburst-shaped glass trophies sit on a black background.
Year of Glass: Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards
Learn how the iconic National Design Awards trophies at made in glass.
Stout brick-red glass vessel with amber details on its sides and amber half round removable stopper resting on its short cylindrical neck.
Year of Glass: Wild Beasts in Glass
Artist Maurice Marinot translated the bold modern painting style of Fauvism into inventive glass objects.
A glass decanter, with a bulbous bottom ascending into a narrow-necked top and a disc-like stopper, glows electric blue in a dark space.
Year of Glass: Old Glass in a New Light
An electron microscope and ultraviolet illumination can change what we know about the life of a glass object.
An oval-shaped, footed glass bowl cut with intricate geometric designs and a scalloped rim.
Year of Glass: Cut vs. Pressed
How do cut glass objects differ from those created using the innovation of pressed glass and what does this have to do with celery?
Pair of covered clear glass, inverted-bell shape drinking vessels, with knopped stems, stepped circular feet, and squat dome-shaped removable lids with baluster finials. The bodies etched with scenes of female domestic life after the birth of a newborn; the lids etched with garlands.
Year of Glass: Dutch Artistry
Written by Jasmine Keegan The United Nations has designated 2022 the International Year of Glass. Cooper Hewitt is celebrating the occasion with a yearlong series of posts focused on the medium of glass and museum conservation. Dutch glass artisans reached high levels of skill in ornamentation during the 18th century, as demonstrated in these beautifully decorated...