about

The Object of the Day blog is written by Cooper Hewitt’s curators, graduate fellows, and contributing researchers and scholars. Posts are published five times a week (Monday through Friday) and present research on an object from the museum’s collection. With over 210,00 objects spanning thirty centuries of decorative arts and design, Object of the Day explores the material culture of textiles, graphic design, furniture, products, architectural drawings, wallcoverings, and much more. You can also subscribe to our Object of the Day email for a daily dose of design delivered to your inbox.

Image features chaise in the form of a long, contoured, rectangular seat/back unit of woven strips on curved wood frame with four flat, angled and tapered legs. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Farm Fresh American Modernism
Edward Durell Stone, born in Arkansas in 1902, was an important proponent of the International Style in the United States, reconciling its crisp geometry and functionalism with American popular tastes. In the 1940s, however, his formalist aesthetic underwent a transformation following a cross-country tour that included visits to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and Yellowstone National...
Image features rectilinear desktop telephone in red and black, with handset at top, black keypad with green, yellow and blue number and function keys on left, rectangular gray panel with logo on right. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Communicating in Style
Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, the design team and one-time couple Gideon Löwy and Lone Lindinger-Löwy created a series of telephones called BeoCom, made for the Danish consumer electronics manufacturer Bang & Olufsen. The prefix “beo” is standard for all of Bang & Olufsen’s major products and the ending references the device’s purpose:...
Image features: Dark yellow fabric with vertical columns of rounded geometric shapes in neat clusters, each with a zigzag border and filled with a smiling face. Each face is filled with red and orange polka dots. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Sunshine Smile
Gay Façade, a textile design featuring whimsical line drawings of geometrically shaped suns with smiling faces, was designed by John Hull for Associated American Artists. It was produced in multiple colorways, another of which (1994-38-8) is currently in the museum’s collection. In this version, suns are outlined in black and partially filled by red and...
The image features a wallpaper design of a landscape scene with trees containing fall-colored leaves. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Warm Tones Set the Fall Mood
Walking through Central Park I enjoyed seeing all the brightly colored leaves in the trees, while the fallen leaves crunched underfoot. I thought this wallpaper with its warm colors and hints of green seemed to beautifully capture the essence of the fall day. This is a fairly stylized landscape scene which includes trees, vines, and...
Image features an unpublished title page design for the book, Occupations of Women and Their Compensation. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Priestess of Book Design
The career of Alice Cordelia Morse reflects the changing role of women in art and society in the late 19th century. Morse was able to achieve success in many artistic fields, designing book covers, illustrations, and stained glass, while also experimenting with other decorative media such as china painting and needlework. Although this title-page design was...
Image features set of 18 clear glass rectangular and square modular, nesting food and beverage storage containers and lids. Containers are of differing heights (about 2" to 6"), widths, and depths. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
KUBUS – A STYLISH 1930s FRIDGE ACCESSORY
Author: Zenia Malmer The ‘Kubus’ clear glass stacking and modular storage system was created in 1938 by German designer Wilhelm Wagenfeld (1900-90), who frequented the Bauhaus school in the former Weimar Republic. Kubus, which was manufactured by Lausitzer Glasverein, was one of Wagenfeld’s most well-known affordable designs in pressed glass that he created for commercial...
Red wool felt banner embroidered with a blue star on a white rectangle, with the words "Over There" embroidered in white on a blue arch above.
Over There
Author: Madelyn Shaw For several years, I have been immersed in the subject of wool as a wartime resource. The global trade in wool grew exponentially in the 19th century, fed by the opening of new regions to sheep farming, the industrialization of the production of wool yarns and textiles, and the seemingly continuous need...
Image features book cover of Silk Dyeing, printing and finishing by George H Hurst. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Technological Handbooks
The museum as “practical working laboratory” that sisters Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt envisioned for the study of the decorative arts, could not have been realized without the extensive collection of books and supporting materials found in the library at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Numerous books about process, such as the...
Image shows a landscape view around Paris. Please scroll down for a further description of this piece.
A View Around Paris
One lesser known area of the Cooper Hewitt’s collection are folding screens covered with wallpaper. Many of these contain panels from scenic wallpapers mounted on the face of the screen. Today’s object is an eight-panel folding screen containing a scene called Environs de Paris from the scenic paper titled “Jardín Baujon beí Neuílly.” This is...