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 shows a repeating pattern of dots that scale from small to large and back to small, printed in two columns. Please scroll down for further information on this piece.
Dot Those Walls
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. Infinity is a pattern of dots that scale from small to large back to small, printed in two columns across the width. When seen from a distance the design is slightly reminiscent of crocodile hide. I...
Image features a square poster printed in black and white on a blue background, showing a circle within a ring. The circle contains the image of an eye, with the following text in the pupil: WAC women's action coalition. The black ring contains text in white: WAC IS WATCHING WOMEN TAKE ACTION. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Women’s Action is Women’s Power
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. This post originally appeared  on June 15, 2015. Founded in 1992, the Women’s Action Coalition (WAC) staged public demonstrations or “actions” to raise the visibility of women in art, culture, and society. The organization was founded in response to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill congressional hearings, which riveted...
Image features a gold-toned ring with the capital letters L and O (on angle), stacked over the letters V and E, spelling out the word love. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
L-O-V-E
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. This gilded metal ring bears the motif of one of pop art’s most recognizable artworks. Modeled after Robert Indiana’s LOVE graphics and sculptures, the ring represents an element of popular design that reveals the relationship between...
Image features red and black interlocking figures creating an all over pattern. Distinct figures include two that are upside down at lower left and right on either side of "83". Enclosed by a red border. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Designed for Fun
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. Today’s blog post was originally published February 8th, 2015. A favored hangout among the early 1980s East Village art scene, the Fun Gallery became home to some of the New York City’s most notable artists, including...
Image shows a wallpaper with bright red cherries on a green Mylar ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Very Fragrant Wallpaper
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. This is one of my favorite novelty papers as it appeals to a number of senses and is more than just a pretty wallpaper. I find myself drawn to the complementary colors, with the bright red...
Image features a color photo of two brides holding hands, and mouths open as though yelling. One woman with a thought bubble that reads: “Not what I had / in mind!” They are standing on a table covered with silver and china. Across the poster, in pink: “Is it worth being / Boring / for a Blender?” Lower margin: “GAY MARRIAGE / You might as well be straight.” Upper left: “Poster sponsored / in part by / HX FOR HER / NEW YORK CITY”. Upper right: “ANOTHER PUBLIC ART PROJECT BROUGHT TO YOU BY / DAM! [DYKE ACTION MACHINE] / dam@echonyc.com.
Gays Against Gay Marriage
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. This post originally appeared on March 30, 2015. This provocative poster was designed in 1997, one year after the US Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act. Known simply as “DOMA,” the Act barred same-sex married couples from being recognized by federal law. The poster is...
Image features the cover of the book Years Yet Yesterday. "Y YEARS YET YESTERDAY Y," in red letters is superimposed over the word "Contaminated"in a gray circle on a white background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Years Yet Yesterday
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. Mark Addison Smith is a notable artist’s book designer who specializes in typographic storytelling. He uses illustrative text to create a visual narrative through print, artists’ books, and site installations. For over 10 years, Mark Addison...
Image features a cuff bracelet of roughly circular form composed of two intertwined curved strands of silver containing a central irregular triangular panel. The silver surface has passages of dark patination. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Art in Metal: The Modernist Jewelry of Greenwich Village’s Art Smith
From the archives, an Object of the Day post on the jewelry of Art Smith, one of the designers featured in Jewelry of Ideas.
Image features a rendering of a draped female figure with fairy wings turned toward the right, holding an outstretched cord between her hands. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Beautiful Bills
With her butterfly wings, this artfully draped female figure would seem more at home decorating a theater than ornamenting U.S. currency.  Yet the designer, Walter Shirlaw, clearly labeled his drawing “Bank Note Design.” Shirlaw left school at the age of twelve and apprenticed himself to a bank note engraving company, believing that it would help...