Object of the Day

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Metals and Materials
This striking drawing, titled Altar Mensa for the Borghese Chapel in the Santa Maria Maggiore, is by a lesser known but influential architect, Mario Asprucci the Younger.  Using water color paint to achieve vibrant illustrations of various, colored marbles and metals, Asprucci captures the architecture’s sumptuous materials and allegorical themes. The Borghese Chapel was originally...
A Wall of Calligraphy
In this beautiful sidewall, layers of white, dark brown, and tan lines swirl into compositions reminiscent of chopped-up calligraphy. No words seem to be spelled out, and stylistically the calligraphy hovers between Arabic and Gothic scripts. The layering of the “words” in the paper causes us to see them primarily as ornamental forms, leading us...
Let There Be Light: Table Candlestand
One of the most precious household commodities before the advent of electric lights was the candle. Candles were typically burned at night, and only when necessary, as they were laborious to make and costly to buy. The best candles were made of pure beeswax, because these burned cleanly and emitted a pleasant honey odor. Another...
April Showers
Alexander Girard was one of the most influential textile designers of the mid-century period. Along with colleagues Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Eero Saarinen, he was a strong proponent of bringing an affordable modernism to the middle class. From 1952 to 1973, Girard served as head of the Textile Division of Herman Miller...
A New Look for Leathered Walls
Imitation leather papers meticulously reproduce the grain, patterns, and coloring of antique leathers. While these wallpapers were expensive to produce due to all the handwork necessary to capture the embossed leathers, they were much less costly, and quicker to produce, than actual leathers. This sample was produced by M. H. Birge & Sons around 1910,...
Dishing Out New Design: A Grand Légumier by Süe et Mare
As France sought to regain its economic standing and reassert its cultural dominance following the First World War, designers Louis Süe (1875–1968) and André Mare (1887–1932) formed a partnership, La Compagnie des Arts Français, in 1919. The firm was well-known for updating the historical forms of the Louis-Philippe era, considered by Süe and Mare to...
Vinyl for a Runner
Sandy Chilewich has popularized and boosted the reputation of extruded yarn manufacture, specifically in vinyl, which used to be reserved for more industrial applications. She took advantage of a fairly simple mechanical process involving relatively few steps to make much of the woven vinyl products that are part of her eponymous line. The extrusion process...
Playful Exuberance: Dagobert Peche’s Silver Vase
Now on view in The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s, this vase by Dagobert Peche is an explosion of movement and life.
Objets de luxe
Many of the most iconic products of the 1920s—perfume bottles, vanities, and jewelry—are feminine objects like those seen in this sidewall, now on view in The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.