Image of the Carnegie Mansion overlaying an illustrated rising sun.
On the Horizon
Matilda McQuaid, Acting Director of Curatorial Cooper Hewitt celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2022.  This extraordinary milestone will be marked by the exhibition, Sarah & Eleanor Hewitt: Designing a Modern Museum, which honors our founders and their remarkable roles as collectors, philanthropists, and educators. The Hewitt sisters’ aspirations provide the foundation for our mission today—to...
Two women's portraits framed by graphic circles creating cameo spots of each woman. An angular pattern travels across the picture behind the figures and a diagonal line separates the two women with a grey field of color on the left and an orange field on the right.
Are you a Sarah or an Eleanor?
Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt, the sisters who established the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration in 1897 and granddaughters of famed industrialist Peter Cooper, used their considerable means and impressive intelligence to amass a collection comprised of centuries of furniture, textiles, drawings, wallcoverings, and more—the basis of the collection now housed at Cooper...
A Library Grows
by Stephen Van Dyk, Librarian Emeritus, Smithsonian Institution In commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, we honor donors such as Robert Winthrop Chanler whose collection greatly enhanced the diversity, depth, and richness of the museum’s rare book library. Chanler, a friend of founders Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt, willed his collection...
Ink drawing of animals surrounding a crest with hand-written notes by the artist regarding payments to a tailor.
Stradanus Sketchbook Project
by Julia Siemon, Assistant Curator Cooper Hewitt recently launched the “Stradanus Sketchbook Project,” a multi-year initiative supported by a major grant from the J. Paul Getty Foundation. This ambitious project centers on the work of Johannes Stradanus (Netherlandish, 1523­–1605), a principal artist at the Medici court in Renaissance Florence, who was also a prolific and...
Stories of a Mansion
by Elaine Gerstein, Cooper Hewitt Design Guide As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, it is interesting to note that before the museum opened in 1976, the Carnegie Mansion had an amazing history of its own. The mansion was built from 1899–1902 for Andrew Carnegie, said to be at...
Five Questions with Sarah A. Lichtman
Sarah A. Lichtman, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of design history at Parsons School of Design (The New School, New York), where she directs the Master of Arts program in the history of design and curatorial studies, offered in affiliation with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She is co-editor of Screen Interiors: From Country Houses...
From Design Collective to Design Hive
By Cecilia Vidal, Cooper Hewitt Education Associate The Covid-19 epidemic and the murder of George Floyd were each events that sparked nation-wide and global reckonings of race and inequality. 2020 became a critical year for rethinking existing institutional structures. Museums had and have a responsibility to authentically reflect and engage with their communities. In February...
National High School Design competition flyer placed next to a screenshot of a video conference
High School Designers in the Making
By Merit Myers, Membership and Individual Giving Coordinator Since 2016, Cooper Hewitt has hosted the annual National High School Design competition challenging students around the country to design a solution to a unique scenario – inspired by our rich collection and stimulating exhibitions.  I had the honor of serving as a selection juror for the...
The Next National Design Award Winner
This October we celebrated the 21st Annual National Design Awards, proudly presented each year by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to recognize innovation and impact in the design field. Nominations are made by the public, and winners are selected by a diverse jury of design leaders and scholars The National Design Awards are a reminder...