Object of the Day

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Image shows a stylized camel caravan crossing the desert. Please scroll down for a discussion of this image.
Rivers in the Desert
Dunes flow over one another in waves as caravans of people and camels navigate the treacherous terrain of the Sahara. The oscillating lines that the figures stand on are reminiscent of a winding river or the ocean surf. While this composition is relatively simple, its whimsical elements, such as the faces of the camels and...
Image features two women holding books in an interior setting. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Hokinson Woman
Helen Hokinson, or “Hoky” as her friends called her, contributed nearly 1,800 cartoons and vignettes and 68 cover designs to The New Yorker in the first half of the 20th century. Her long-lasting association with the magazine began just a few months after it launched, when a drawing of a round, middle-aged woman standing on...
This image features one of the designs for the palanquin requested by a Pencil Points editor for his soon-to-be-removed wisdom tooth. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Pencil Points Design
Design is for public consumption. Its process is collaborative and frequently involves many iterations of an idea before the best solution is found. This is why contests in design come about so naturally. Design competitions date all the way back to 448 BCE when the city of Athens decided to construct a war memorial on...
Image feature: Embroidered sampler with bands of alphabets and numerals, floral and geometric borders, and an inscription. At the bottom are two trees, one surrounded by birds, the other with birds flying away from it; the trees are identified as 'The Good Tree' and 'The Evil Tree'. The verse reads: Let Virtue be a Guide to Me When this you see Remember Me. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Massachusetts Sampler
Sally Follansbee’s 1787 sampler is part of a group of samplers from the towns of Newbury and Newburyport, Massachusetts. These works can be identified by a number of motifs that were reused and modified from the 1750s through the early 1800s. The stylized floral band on Sally’s piece appears on samplers by several Newbury and...
A Lovely Goddess
This paper attributed to the wallpaper manufacturer Delicourt depicts the Roman goddess Juno and would have been part of a set of panels that featured members of the Roman pantheon. The accompanying panels would have likely shown Juno’s husband Jupiter as well as two or three other gods, and the whole set would possibly have...
Image features an hourglass-shaped coffee maker of transparent glass with high neck and circular mouth molded with a narrow spout; tapered wood collar/hand grip at neck tied with leather thong with bead stop; small projecting dot as water level indicator in lower body, vertically aligned with spout. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Perfect Cup, Coffee Brewed to Perfection
This coffee maker was devised by chemist and inventor, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, for the Chemex® Corporation. It is made of heat-resistant non-porous borosilicate glass, and surrounded by a wood collar tied with a leather thong, that serves as an insulated handle with which to pour the hot beverage. The ingenious use of glass allows the...
Image features a horizontal envelope with "The Public Theater" written vertically down the left side in black and red fonts. Please scroll down to read the blogpost about this object.
Everyone’s Public Theater
Paula Scher’s identity for New York’s Public Theater has become the ne plus ultra of graphic design. When it was created in 1994, no one had ever seen anything quite like it. With its bold red and black typography, the logo combined letters of different sizes, weights, and spacing, running vertically down the side of...
Image features: Patchwork cover made from a variety of woven fabrics and ribbons. Diamond shape in the center with a triangle on each side to form a central square surrounded by twelve squares plus an outer border. Each square contains an embroidered naturalistic flower. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.”
A Family Tradition
Cooper Hewitt is fortunate to have in its collection two quilts made by close relatives: Caroline Hammond Reed and her daughter-in-law, Frances Kingsley Reed, from Anderson, South Carolina. Both quilts were donated by Helen Allen Stanbury, a New Yorker who was a native of Anderson. Frances Kingsley Reed (1845–1902), wife of Caroline Hammond Reed’s son...
Image features a low wooden stool consisting of a thick circular seat on three splayed, tapering legs, rectangular in section. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Musing on Materials
In a 1929 article for The Studio, Charlotte Perriand, the designer of this stool, wrote polemically about the advantages of using metal over wood, noting its utilitarian and aesthetic value. She said, “Metal plays the same part in furniture as cement has done in architecture. It is a Revolution.”[1] Her now-iconic B306 chaise longue made...