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 features vessel with longated conical shaped bowl; bowl has engraved decoration of female figure sitting on ruffled banner, scalloped ornamental bands at top and bottom and stars spaced throughout. Tall, thin six-sided stem with small notches on corners. Flat circular foot with ornamental bands that match bowl. Lid tapers to tall six-sided notched finial with knop. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Swedish Grace in Glass
This tall glass covered vessel was designed in 1923, by Edward Hald, artistic director of the Orrefors glassworks in Sweden. It features engraved decoration of a female figure seated on a fluttering banner, amid a field of stars bordered by scalloped bands. The delicate star and band motifs are carried through in the vessel’s tapered cover...
Image features: Printed cotton yard goods sample with six small swatches of other colorways sewn to the back. Hot pink ground with dark green leaves around roses and lilies in shades of blue, yellow-green, and dark brown. Other flowers in pink, off-white, pink-beige and yellow-green. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Fazenda Lily
During World War II, commercial construction in the United States came to a standstill, but Dorothy Draper received a plum commission to design the interiors of Cassino Hotel Quitandinha, in Petrópolis, a mountain resort outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, designed by Italian architect Luis Fossatti and constructed by entrepreneur Joaquim Rolla. At the time it...
Image shows a neoclassical-style wallpaper with an image of two figures on a plateau alternating with a foliate wreath. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Two Maidens and a Wreath
This is a Colonial Revival wallpaper acquired during the tenure of the museum founders, Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt. This is a 20th century machine-printed reproduction of an early 19th century design. Given the contemporary date of this piece, and the crease across the middle of the paper, when received by the museum this sample was pasted into...
Image features the cover of the Kovový nábytek / Vichr a Spol catalogue, a gray and blue photomontage of tubular steel furniture and the company trademark.. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Vichr Co. Tubular Steel Furniture
This 1937 Czech tubular steel trade catalog Kovový nábytek //Vichr a Spol  is a recent addition to the Cooper Hewitt Library’s extensive collection of furniture trade literature. The library collects these invaluable primary resource materials from all periods, styles, designs and countries. This is a photogravure catalog issued by Vichr, one of the major Czech...
Image featues a shaped inkstand with inset inkpot and sander, each with a circular lid; green and ochre decoration of flowers, foliage, and figure. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Natural Treasure
Made of faience, a type of tin-glazed earthenware produced in France, this brightly colored inkstand held a pot for ink, a sander, pens, and various writing accouterments. Initially derived from Middle Eastern regions before the 9th century, faience developed in France during the 16th century; the French producers were largely influenced by Italian makers of...
Image features wallpaper panel showing arabesque of large acanthus rinceaux, tulips, and wiry scrolls, with large perching peacocks whose tails hang downward. The predominent colors are shades of blue, green, and brown. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Relaxing with the Peacocks
This post was originally published on March 5, 2016. Wallpaper can be used to create a very personal space, one reflecting the style and/or temperament of its creator, or possibly to inspire the desired mood. The myriad wallpapers in production at any given time range from ultra-minimal and loose, to dense pattern-rich designs. Peacock Garden,...
Image features white wallpaper with olive green scrollwork from which fern-like foliage sprouts. Monkeys, dressed in costumes of ultra-bright green, blue, red and pink, are perched on the scrollwork and involved in human activities such playing musical instruments and blowing bubbles. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Monkeying Around
Scrolling framework twists and curls along the length of this wallpaper, Singeries, which was screen printed by Piazza Prints Inc. and is dated to 1965. Winding along these curling sections are delicate green fronds that look to be from a fern or palm tree as their leaves reach outwards. Between the framework and fronds is...
Image features a design drawing of flatware: forks and knives. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A glimpse into Gerald Gulotta’s design process
This post was originally published on November 10, 2013. Gerald Gulotta became an established freelance designer of ceramics, glassware, silver and stainless steel cutlery during the 1960s and 1970s. His sleek, slender, elegant tabletop designs look as contemporary today as they did during the height of his career. The Drawings, Prints and Graphic Design department recently acquired...
Image features a poster design by Lester Beall for the Rural Electrification Administration. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Electrification for a Better Biscuit
This blog post was originally published on January 8, 2014.  By the 1930s, the vast majority of American urban dwellers had access to electricity in their homes and businesses.  But those in impoverished rural areas were often not serviced by private electric companies, who believed that it was not cost-effective for them to invest in...