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 Andy Warhol's iconic Cow wallpaper with a large salmon-colored cow head on a blue background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Deja Moo
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. I would have to give the honor of the most iconic wallpaper to Andy Warhol for his creation of Cow wallpaper. Cow was first shown at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York in 1966, which...
Image features a light orange book cover showing the title, GEEK LOVE, in black hand-lettered capital letters at top, the words overlapping their mirrored images in dark orange. Printed below the title, in black capital letters: A NOVEL / KATHERINE DUNN. At the left edge, hand-lettered text repeats the title and author's name on the spine. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Book Geek
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. What does it take to design a great book cover? An avid taste for literature surely helps, and so does an eccentric eye for images and type. Chip Kidd (American, b. 1964) has designed some of...
Image features a sepia-tinted photograph of a woman in a long gown standing before a mirrored wall in an elaborate room, a gilded and upholstered side chair to her left and armchair to her right. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Living Factory of Chic
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. A woman of nearly seventy-five, dressed in a voluminous white gown with contrasting shawl, gazes over a well-appointed interior in a photograph by a thirty-five-year-old aesthete. The woman is Elsie de Wolfe, the interior is of...
Image features poster showing a blue condom in clear packaging on a white background, above the message, "Put on your thinking cap." Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Smarter, Not Harder
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. In the wake of the AIDS epidemic that arose in the 1980s, greatly impacting the gay community, numerous healthcare organizations sprang up to take charge in the care and support of individuals infected by and living...
Image features a rustic wallpaper design containing a haphazard arrangement of twigs. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
All Sticks, No Stones
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. Kennebec is a fun, playful wallpaper pattern that would hang unobtrusively on the wall, adding a bit of color and texture to the room. The design is rustic in nature, given that it has the appearance...
Image features two white, stylized female figures and one black, stylized male figure on purple ground, with horizontally printed black and white sans-serif text. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Teetering Trio in a Pastel Void
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. Today’s blog post was originally published on May 22nd, 2016. Alvin Lustig designed numerous book covers for New Directions Publishing over the course of his prolific career, including several for Tennessee Williams’s plays. Lustig’s modernist designs,...
Image shows a page spread from the pop-up book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. On a colorful ground, an arch of playing cards looms over a small girl with blonde hair in a purple-blue dress. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Paper, Glue, and Wonder
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. This post has been excerpted and adapted from “Celebrating Pride Month with Paper Engineers,” originally published on Unbound, the blog of Smithsonian Libraries. The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library includes more than 2,000 pop-up and movable books dating from the sixteenth century to the present day—one of...
Image shows a repeating pattern of dots that scale from small to large and back to small, printed in two columns. Please scroll down for further information on this piece.
Dot Those Walls
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. Infinity is a pattern of dots that scale from small to large back to small, printed in two columns across the width. When seen from a distance the design is slightly reminiscent of crocodile hide. I...
Image features a square poster printed in black and white on a blue background, showing a circle within a ring. The circle contains the image of an eye, with the following text in the pupil: WAC women's action coalition. The black ring contains text in white: WAC IS WATCHING WOMEN TAKE ACTION. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Women’s Action is Women’s Power
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. This post originally appeared  on June 15, 2015. Founded in 1992, the Women’s Action Coalition (WAC) staged public demonstrations or “actions” to raise the visibility of women in art, culture, and society. The organization was founded in response to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill congressional hearings, which riveted...