A catalog spread of futuristic and colorful exposition buildings at the 1964 world's fair.
Playing on Fair Grounds: From World Exposition to Public Park
By Elizabeth Broman, Reference Librarian, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library After a long winter of isolating indoors, many of us are eager to get back outdoors to appreciate our urban open spaces. Several major parks in cities across the United States and beyond owe thanks to World’s Fairs for their creation. A largely bygone tradition...
Length of cotton velvet printed with a large-scale design of naturalistic butterflies. In black, blue, green, red, and white on a yellow-green ground.
Blend Nature into an Urban Setting
Spring has arrived and we find ourselves eager to explore our neighborhoods, parks, and other outdoor public spaces in hospitable warmth. In this design activity for all ages, brought to you by Cooper Hewitt’s dedicated Education team, we invite you to consider habitats big and small with inspiration from previous exhibitions and the outdoors. Get...
A geometric sculpture comprised of mirrors that make a heart shape. The mirrors reflect the lights and sky of Times Square.
Design Reframes Times Square
Written by Jean Cooney, Director of Times Square Arts From its storied X-rated reputation to the first kisses of each New Year and the countless surprise proposals earnestly staged in its plazas and on billboards, Times Square has always been linked to love and desire. For thirteen years, the Times Square Alliance has hosted an...
Five Questions With…Emily Orr
Emily M. Orr is the assistant curator of modern and contemporary American design at Cooper Hewitt. Her exhibitions at the museum include Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer (2021), Botanical Expressions (2019–21), and Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s (2017). Her exhibition experience gives her a unique perspective on Cooper Hewitt’s collection that we are excited to share with you.  Did you know?   She holds...
Graphic depiction of a man on the move, holding a camera and suitcase with the phrase 'American Airlines' printed on it.
Urban Graphic Transformation: London in the 1900s
Written by Caitlin Condell, Associate Curator and Head of Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design  After more than a year at home, many of us are aching for the joy of travel and escape. These days, we tend to indulge our temptation for travel through social media, magazines, blogs, and television programs. But as London begins to...
Graphic Illustration of various vessels: Martini Glass, Vase, Mug, Shot Glass arranged in a repeating grid. Some vessels have been repurposed into flower pots in a repeating motif.
Design at Home: Design a Mini Exhibit
What’s in your collection? Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection is central to all activities at the museum, with its vast array of objects prompting untold and diverse stories. Learn how to curate your own exhibition from items you have at home with museum educator Kim Robledo-Diga and Senior Curator of Contemporary Design Ellen Lupton. As many...
Repeating pattern of illustrated binoculars with eyes for lenses. Has eyelashes on rims of lenses.
Digital Scavenger Hunt: Exploring the Collection
Cooper Hewitt is dedicated to making our collection available to everyone interested in the power of design. In 2016, over 200,000 objects were digitized for the public to explore and even download from anywhere in the world. We invite you to browse the collection using various features of the Cooper Hewitt Collection homepage to find...
Heavy-weight natural-colored linen with repeating pattern of crosses and partial crosses formed by closely set L-shaped lines of varying widths in dark green and dusty pink.
Growing the Collection: One Gift at a Time
Written by Kimberly Randall, Collections Manager of the Textile Department at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. In 2019, Cooper Hewitt received a generous gift from the estate of American Arts and Crafts dealer and collector Don Magner (American, 1932–2016). Cooper Hewitt learned about Magner from his close friend, Andrew Van Styn, after he attended a...
Five Questions with: Yao-Fen You
Yao-Fen You is Senior Curator at Cooper Hewitt and head of Product Design and Decorative Arts. She is also Acting Deputy Director of Curatorial. As a curator, Yao-Fen is a champion of the collection and works hard researching, writing, and presenting our permanent collection, while also finding new design treasures for acquisition. We at Cooper...