Object of the Day

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Malman
Dogs of New York
Christina Malman’s 1935 drawing of a woman embracing a dog is both aesthetically  magnetic and brimming with affect.  Using a brush with black ink and white gouache, Malman masterfully utilizes positive and negative space to create simplified forms that are at once sleekly modern and yet familiar.  The figures are depicted in a kind of...
143054_4722c7f649732d9b_b[1]
Living in a World of Nursery Rhymes
As one of the best-known British decorative artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Walter Crane’s design touched upon the fields of books, textiles, wallpaper, stained glass, and ceramics. Children’s education played a considerably important part in the subject matter of Crane’s book illustration and wallpaper designs. In 1875, Crane (1845-1915) was commissioned by Jeffrey...
1980-21-6
Pottery of Precision
Lucy Martin Lewis learned to make pottery from her great-Aunt and other women living in Sky City, a remote three hundred foot high sandstone mesa in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. Until the middle of the twentieth century, the community had no plumbing and pottery jars were necessary for hauling essentials to the waterless mesa. Pottery...
2015-46-1
Starry Indigo
Starry Indigo embodies two vital Japanese textile traditions which derive from the kimono: indigo dyeing which can achieve the darkest and lightest of blues through repeated dipping in the dye vat, and woven silk accentuated by luxurious metallic coated washi thread (silver in Starry Indigo). The appearance of starlets twinkling in a midnight blue sky...
Drawing, Mount Katahdin Rising over Katahdin Lake, before 1878; Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900); USA; brush and oil paint, graphite on paperboard; Sheet: 30.6 x 50.8 cm (12 1/16 x 20 in.) Frame H x W x D: 60 x 75.6 cm (23 5/8 x 29 3/4 in.); Gift of Louis P. Church; 1917-4-626
Cut Out Katahdin
“The tops of mountains are among the unfinished parts of the globe, whither it is a slight insult to the gods to climb and pry into their secrets, and try their effect on our humanity. Only daring and insolent men, perchance, go there.”   – Henry David Thoreau, “The Maine Woods” Praised by his mentor Thomas...
2016-5-11
A Landmark Design with an Aluminum Shine: John Vassos’s RCA Victor Special Phonograph
This sleek icon of American design embodies the simultaneous rise of listening technology and the streamline moderne style in the 1930s. This portable phonograph’s mechanism was engineered by Alfred Weiland and Selden T. Williams while its case and overall aesthetic were conceived by the prolific graphic and industrial designer John Vassos. Born in Romania, Vassos...
1959-140-21
A Parable on Paper
Bonad or bonader is a type of folk art once produced in large amounts in southern Sweden in the regions of Dalarna and Småland. At first bonad were paintings on textiles meant to imitate tapestries and the wall hangings of the elite, but in the late 18th century they were produced increasingly as paintings on...
1978-146-469-a,b
Cartier Deco Matchsafe
The development of friction matches in the early nineteenth century was a major discovery as it allowed for instantaneous and reliable fire on demand for the first time in history. The design of matchsafes arose as the early friction matches were both highly combustible and unstable. These decorative boxes allowed bulk matches to be protected...
Flynn 001
American Bauhaus
This printed textile, Campagna, by Angelo Testa epitomizes his distinct design vocabulary. Likely named after Testa’s friend, Paul Campagna, Testa designed it around 1950 for Knoll Associates. Campagna utilizes Testa’s preferred linear and geometric forms, commonly associated with his Bauhaus training. The hard edges of the concentric rectangles in this textile, however, have been softened...