Object of the Day

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Shaken or Stirred
In a scene from the 1934 film, The Thin Man, retired detective Nick Charles (William Powell) demonstrates to a group of bartenders the skills needed to shake a good cocktail. While vehemently shaking a cocktail shaker with one hand, he says to them, “See, the important thing is the rhythm, always have rhythm in your...
This Museum is Gorges
Where does a building end and the earth that surrounds it begin? Often, this question is easy to answer. We tend to think of buildings and land supporting them as separate entities. This preliminary drawing by the Weiss/Manfredi Architects for the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York shows us that sometimes buildings and...
Bedazzled All Over Again
I acquired Bedazzled for the museum collection in 2004. I had seen an advertisement in a shelter magazine and wanted to visit the showroom to experience it and pick up a sample. When I walked into the showroom this wallcovering, in silver, was installed on a large curved wall and was totally breathtaking. It was...
Appliances Sailing into the American Home
By 1942 the streamlined modern designs of Walter Dorwin Teague, Norman Bel Geddes and Henry Dreyfuss were becoming familiar to the American public. Those people who attended the World’s Fairs throughout the 1930s were witnesses to the marvels exploding on the consumer front, affecting everything from cars to home appliances. Blenders were originally introduced in...
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...
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,...
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...
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...