Object of the Day

SORT BY:
Headless Highlands Ghost
Beneath a foreboding sky streaked with lightning, a figure wanders through a cemetery.  Barefooted and dressed in a monk’s habit, he seems to be missing something.  Quite literally, it may be his head, whose snarling visage is directed out at the viewer from the crook of this gruesome monastic’s left elbow.  But who is this...
Mice in Motion
In 1814, the celebrated Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai—best known his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, which included the imminently recognizable Great Wave off Kanagawa—published a 15-volume work titled Manga, containing thousands of illustrations of landscapes, plants and animals, people, decorative ornaments and more. In the mid-1870s, copies of the Manga circulated in France, and the...
It’s Your Deal. Whist, …Five Card Draw?
The library owns books like Researches into the history of playing cards that supports research into the objects in the museum’s curatorial departments. In studying this book, I was able to make a connection between the illustrations and some playing cards in the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s Drawings & Prints collections. This book is an in-depth...
Okay, Bye
Graphic designer and visual artist Geoff McFetridge created this striking poster in 2015 to advertise the play “Okay, Bye” performed by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. As with many of McFetridge’s designs, the poster uses bold colors and simple forms to communicate a visual riddle. Two pairs of black shoes distinguish the owners...
Let’s Play Ball
With the culmination of baseball season upon us, it seems appropriate to turn our attention to this cheerful wallpaper from mid-century. Play Ball shows a single repeat of an ongoing baseball game printed on a light tan background. The scene is extremely dynamic as each figure engages with the action on the field. At home...
Not Your Grandmother’s Teapot
This teapot by the American ceramicist, Richard Notkin, draws its material influence from Chinese Yixing clay teapots. This type of clay is found in China in the city of Yixing in the Jiangsu Province, and is typically a red or brown color. While the clay has been used to create many different wares, the most...
Triangles
Alexander Girard (American, 1907–1993) was one of the leading American textile designers of the mid-century period, and was a strong proponent of bringing an affordable modernism to the middle class. Girard was the head of the Textile Division of Herman Miller Inc. from 1952 to 1973, where he worked alongside Charles and Ray Eames and...
The Invisible City
In 1972, The International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA) appointed the architect Richard Saul Wurman as the program chairman for its annual symposium. As chairman, Wurman was responsible for choosing the conference’s theme and proposing the various programs, exhibitions, and discussion sessions. Wurman decided to depart from the IDCA’s standard exploration of practical design issues...
Anyone for a Hike through the Forest?
This promotional brochure for the Trees mural designed by Ilonka Karasz in 1960 contains a lot of information packed in an attractive format. This is printed in the luxograph process which was the same technique used to print the full-size murals. This technique was a blueprint method introduced by Katzenbach & Warren in 1947 for...