Object of the Day

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Image features a tornado-like object composed of metal strips at center; text in blue above in a wavy line; text on either side, and photographs of buildings. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
In the Eye of the Tornado: Rethinking the Limits of Design Copy
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. Today’s blog post was originally published on March 29, 2018. As design director for her alma mater, Art Center...
Image shows an upright erector set of filing units, shelves and other components in yellow, light green, and purple, plugged into freestanding cream pegboard screens. Please scroll down for the blog post related to this image.
Plug and Play for Modern Storage
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. This inventive prototype for a storage system is at once playful, inventive and multifunctional. Blu Dot,...
Image features: Yardage of full manufactured width, silver-colored, metallic coated plain woven polyester with wavy linear pattern from the embossing. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Ripple Effect
Embossed Stainless Steel was designed by Reiko Sudo, one of Japan’s most important contemporary textile designers. Educated at Musashino Art University, she and Junichi Arai (Japanese, 1932–2017) were the co-founders in 1984 of the Japanese company and store, NUNO, which produces textiles of extraordinary ingenuity and beauty. Sudo and the other designers at NUNO combine...
Image shows an Egyptian-inspired wallpaper design with four male figures printed against a background of hieroglyph-like symbols. Please scroll down for further information on this piece.
Egyptomania
When I’m scrolling through wallpaper images I frequently stop and wonder what movement or inspiration let to the fruition of that design. When I saw this Egyptian-style paper that the museum acquired in 1938 I couldn’t think of any events occurring at that time that may have inspired this. When I looked a little closer...
Drawing of a long, symmetrical house, dominated by rows of columns. Rendered in black and white with areas of bright green foliage.
A 1920s-1930s Architect Lives on Today
This preliminary drawing for the Lake Bluff, IL country home of investment banker William McCormick Blair reveals the early thought process of the architect David Adler. Trained at the Technische Universität, Munich and at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, Adler built his Chicago-based practice in the 1920s and ’30s designing gracious, sprawling country homes rooted in...
This is an oval tin with ring handles and decoration resembling an Egyptian frieze. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Not Your Average Biscuit (Tin)
As part of Cooper Hewitt’s product design and decorative arts collection, this particular object is a rather unique representation of two historical elements: the design ingenuity of a British Quaker company that enjoyed tremendous success from its inception in 1822 onwards, and an architectural, decorative arts and design style known as the Egyptian Revival. Huntley...
Magazine covers, (L) no. 12, 1926. (R) No. 34, 1928.
Inspirations for Mad Men
I have always loved looking at old advertisements in magazines; many of the people that come and use the Cooper Hewitt Library come for that specific reason. Advertisements are designed to establish a connection between the person seeing it, and the product or idea the ad is selling. Typefaces, colors, styles of portraying an object-...
Image features: A robe of dark blue silk with a deep wave border at the bottom and sleeve hems. Tapestry-woven design of eight large circular medallions showing five white cranes with red crests and blue cloud bands. Lined with light blue silk. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Flying Cranes
Today’s Object of the Day is on view in Rebeca Méndez Selects (October 5, 2018–June 16, 2019) This semi-formal court surcoat (ji fu gua吉服褂) would have been worn by the wife of an imperial prince, a high-ranking clan member, or a Manchu official. Surcoats often featured flowers or birds. Here, roundels feature five cranes flying...
Image shows a children's wallpaper with exotic foliage and animals rendered in a naive manner. Please scroll down for additional information on this wallpaper.
Lions, and Tigers, No Bears, Oh My!
This is a delightful wallpaper designed for children. The design is rendered in a very flat perspective and illustrated in a naïve manner, which seems reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books. A fun and whimsical paper that would allow children to create their own little safaris. The jungle scene contains images of lions, tigers,...