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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 new 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, 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 a four-tined silver dessert fork, its form suggesting a tulip on its sinuous, leaf-encased stem. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Tulip for the Table
This silver dessert fork from the “Tulip” pattern, was designed by Henrich Vogeler in 1898-99, and produced by the firm of M. H. Wilkens & Söhn  in Bremen, Germany. Vogeler’s Tulip pattern is one of the most graceful German flatware patterns of the Jugendstil period, and this particular piece shows the pattern well. Vogeler, trained as...
Image features an ornament in the form of a butterfly alighting on a blossom, depicted in bright blue kingfisher feathers, brown resin, and red and green foil-covered beads mounted on a sheet silver backing. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Symphony of Shimmering Iridescence
Author: Morgan Albahary Made in China around 1900, this small yet striking ornament depicts a delicate butterfly alighting on the plush petals of a blossoming flower. With its profusion of iridescent kingfisher feathers, which have been deftly cut and inlaid into delineated segments of silver sheet, the ornament’s materiality firmly grounds it within the tradition...
Image shows a very dense gathering of people in a variety of costumes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Crowd Pleasing Wallpaper
“All of Us” is a group of four different wallpapers that work together to show a gathering of people that starts out as a very dense configuration then transitions to become more sparse as the panels move to the right. The first panel contains a very dense grouping of people, all standing packed in like...
A Radical ‘X’
Spike Lee’s 1992 classic film, Malcolm X, depicts the life and impact of the radical African-American activist. The poster for the movie was designed by Art Sims, who had previously created the artwork for Mo’ Better Blues (1990) and Jungle Fever (1991), two other Spike Lee joints. Past works by Sims display his affinity for...
Image features a laptop computer with a rectangular body with rounded corners, the housing of translucent clear and blue plastic with blue pull-out handle at back. The hinged lid opens to reveal a screen and an inset keyboard with function keys, a touch pad, power button and a small speaker. Separate disk-shaped clear plastic and metal power adapter contains windup cord. Scroll down for the blog post related to this image.
Think Different
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. Today’s post was originally published on September 9, 2015. “When was the last time someone offered...
Image features: Length of printed textile with alternating aqua-blue and white stripes with scalloped edges. Stylized horses grouped in pairs are printed in the opposite colors. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Spencerian Horses
Marguerita Mergentime is noted for her innovative use of text as a decorative element, and among her many sources of inspiration were books of calligraphy and penmanship. The “Spencerian” of the title refers to Spencerian script, a cursive writing style developed by Platt Rogers Spencer and promoted through his 1866 book, Spencerian Key to Practical...
Image shows a wallpaper pattern composed of periods and commas. Please scroll down for For further information on this piece.
Stop, Stop, Stop, Pause
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. Pause is a strong graphic pattern using typographic characters that notify the reader to stop and...
Image features a tornado-like object composed of metal strips at center; text in blue above in a wavy line; text on either side, and photographs of buildings. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
In the Eye of the Tornado: Rethinking the Limits of Design Copy
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. Today’s blog post was originally published on March 29, 2018. As design director for her alma mater, Art Center...
Image shows an upright erector set of filing units, shelves and other components in yellow, light green, and purple, plugged into freestanding cream pegboard screens. Please scroll down for the blog post related to this image.
Plug and Play for Modern Storage
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. This inventive prototype for a storage system is at once playful, inventive and multifunctional. Blu Dot,...