Object of the Day

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Cool Weather Calm
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season coming to an end, and the end of the year upon us, it is always nice to have a moment of reflection and calm before jumping into the New Year. This wallpaper, aptly entitled “The Birches”, seems to echo such a sentiment with its cool color...
Heraldic Banner
This English trumpeter’s banner dates to the mid-19th century. The crest, or the coat of arms of Great Britain, is flanked by the lion and the unicorn, the symbols of England and Scotland. Additionally, the motto of the English chivalric Order of the Garter, “Honi soit qui mal y pense,” and the motto of the...
A Very Functional Form
This verriere defines the classification of objects we call decorative arts: something that is both beautiful and functional. The function of the verriere is to cool wine glasses by inverting them and resting the feet and stems on the curved rim of the vessel, with the bowls immersed in cold water or ice. This type...
Ho, Ho, Ho
Good cheer abounds in this festive poster designed by graphic designer and educator Linda Powell.  The poster is part of a set of four created to promote the 1978 Herman Miller Christmas Party.  The beloved Zeeland, Michigan furniture company has a hearty tradition of exceptionally made products and innovative communication design, geared both outwardly, for...
Please, Look Up
This corner border doesn’t appear like much at first appearance but it speaks a lot about technology. This is a ceiling corner border: the design is simple, printed in only a few colors, very affordable. Maybe not so easy to hang but it would have been cheap enough that you could afford to make mistakes....
The World on a String
Jacqueline Groag was one of the United Kingdom’s most influential post-war textile designers. She began her career at the famed Wiener Werkstätte in Vienna before designing and producing hand-printed textiles for some of the top Parisian fashion houses, including Chanel, Lanvin, Worth, Schiaparelli, and Poiret. She was also one of only a few of the...
An Office Artifact
As a portmanteau for “rolling” and “index,” the term “rolodex” has entered the English lexicon to mean a list of one’s business contacts. Though the term can be used broadly, it also refers to the brand name Rolodex—the company that made this swivel file. Devices such as these allowed the user to type or attach...
Hercules’ Second Labor
In this richly ornamented print from the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department, Giorgio Ghisi (Italian, 1520-1582) portrays Hercules’ success in completing his second labor in his print Hercules Victorious Over the Hydra of Lerna. This print was designed for a frontispiece for artist Giovanni Battista Bertani’s commentary, titled Gli oscuri e difficili passi dell’opera...
Shades of Gray
This is a textile designed and constructed for direct application to the wall. Made in the lamontage process, the design is an ombre pattern that shades from deep black through shades of gray, to white. While this style has certainly made a comeback today it has old roots in the wallpaper field, and I was...