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Panel, Los Angeles, CA, late 1930s–late 1950s, made by Maria Kipp, 1900–1988, cotton, rayon and metallic thread plain weave with supplementary warp floats, Museum purchase from Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program Fund, 1998-55-2
Harmonious Color and Texture
Maria Kipp is considered to be the first woman in the United States to found a commercially successful hand-weaving enterprise. Born in a small town in Germany in 1900, she was the first woman to enter Munich’s Kunstgewerbe art school at age 18, then went on to be the first woman student of the Muenchberg...
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Secret of the Garden
Daniel Marot, architect, decorative designer and engraver fled, like many other Huguenot workers, from France to Holland due to the revocation of the Edict of the Nantes in 1685.  The Edict had offered measures to ensure religious liberty and its revocation sent shock waves through Protestant communities who were no longer protected.  Bringing his talent...
Bright orange cover with text and illustraion
Caricature Miscellany
By Annaleigh McDonald This bright gem from the Cooper Hewitt Library’s rare book collection contains the work of George Grosz, a German artist who immigrated to the United States at age 39 in 1933, eventually becoming a naturalized citizen in 1938. Known for his scathing caricatures of post-war life in Germany, Grosz was vehemently anti-Nazi,...
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An Old-Fashioned View
This beautiful sidewall is a great example of the Rococo Revival style at its most wild and vivid. Its design, a repeating landscape vignette floating in space bordered by sprays of flowers, is common in 18th century wallpapers. This paper also uses the old-fashioned technique of block-printing, despite coming from a time when machine-printing dominated...
1992-51- Matt Flynn 007
Parade of Parachutes
LIFE magazine deemed him as a “dressmaker in silver” in 1939, but Tommi Parzinger was an incredibly versatile designer, celebrated for his furniture, wallpaper, packaging and textiles.[1] Parzinger designed furnishings for socialites, decorators, and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and the Rockefellers and he established himself as a man about town in the glamorous circles of...
1997-59-1
Have a Heart
This brooch, designed by artist Carol Summers, is a three-dimensional representation of the big, bold wood-cut prints for which he was famous. Summers, who passed away on October 27th, 2016, trained at Bard College and the Art Students League in New York City, where he studied painting and printmaking. This brooch is unique in that...
Mural: The World of Radio, USA, 1934, designed by Arthur Gordon Smith, (Canadian, 1901–n.d) for Mrs. Nadea Dragonette Loftus, (American, 1892–1982), cotton batik, Gift of Nicholas Meredith Turner in memory of Jessica Dragonette, 1983-73-1
The World of Radio
The World of Radio features the central figure of soprano and radio star Jessica Dragonette (American, 1900–1980). Commissioned in 1933 by her sister, Nadea Dragonette Loftus, this mesmerizing mural decorated the singer’s top-floor apartment on East 57th Street. Over 8 feet high and 16 feet wide, the mural is a highly personal tribute to Dragonette’s...
houston mastaba 1976
Mastering the Mastaba
Despite their repeated stance that their public works of art should be appreciated mainly for the complex process leading to their creation as well as their striking visual effect, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, creators of such works as Wrapped Reichstag (1995) and The Gates (2005), have never shied away from controversial materials or sites. Oil barrels first...
1986-99-11
Tischsuper, but not Kitschsuper: Dieter Rams’ RT 20 Radio for Braun
Designed by Dieter Rams in 1961, the Tischsuper RT 20 Radio is a perfect reflection of Rams’ maxim “Less, but better.” While this radio is undeniably modern, it is not austere. Rams’ use of the serene colors cream and laurel green create a design that exudes a natural sense of calm. Moreover, the gently sloping...