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 a wallpaper with two columns of triangles, black on one side, gray on the other. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Triangle Illusions
I came across this unusual mid-century paper that I thought was designed for use as a focal wall, a very common wall treatment of the period. Initially I passed it by, thinking it was not interesting enough for an Object of the Day blog, but then I found an advertisement in an Interiors magazine that...
A dark brown paper stencil with a cut-away pattern of triangles joined in lines of two or three.
Martial Iris
In the traditional Japanese craft of katagami, paper stencils are carved by master artisans for use in decorating textiles. Documented since at least the sixteenth century, the technique developed out of methods originally devised for embellishing leather armor. Some common katagami motifs record this history: the stylized iris pattern that appears on this stencil symbolizes bravery....
Image features: Lined drape with a hand block printed checkerboard design of two abstracted tree designs. In tan, brown and green on a beige ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Checkered Flower
The Milwaukee Handicraft Project’s block printing unit developed as an off-shoot of the bookbinding unit, when the designers there decided to decorate their book covers with linoleum block prints. This quickly evolved into the creation of printed yardage. Barbara Warren was among the graduates of the Milwaukee Teacher’s College art department who served as designer/supervisor,...
Image features a wallpaper with a pattern of insect wings printed in black on a bright blue ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Winging It
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Here is a simple wallpaper pattern, a repeating design of insect wings, that I find amusing. You know, those pesky things you might find on your window sill or picnic table during the summer months, that you...
Image features a design for chromium-plated bronze floor lamp for the print room of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller’s Topside Gallery in the Rockefeller townhouse at 10 W 54th Street, New York, New York. Above at center, object shown in elevation: circular foot in brushed chromium supports four lengths of rectangular brushed chromium straps that angle upward, stabilized by a pair of rings below and a single ring above, to hold polished chromium, semispherical shade. Below, object shown in plan. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Matron of Modern Design
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers—and  today, patrons—in the collection. While this month we’ve been celebrating women designers, today’s post considers the role played by women patrons in the arts, architecture, and design.[1] Where modernism in America is concerned, one of the most influential actors in...
Image features: A white four-sided selvage textile loosely woven with striped pattern on the bottom half. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object
Hitomi I
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Sheila Hicks is one of the most important living artists today, who has chosen fiber as her primary medium. The museum is fortunate enough to have over sixty works spanning more than fifty years of her career,...
Image features bowl with straight sides and a low circular foot, the surface with textured horizontal striations. The exterior and interior glazed in tones of oxblood red, purple, brown, and light green. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Breaking the Mold
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection.  Louisa Etcheverry was born into a family of potters in California in 1911. Her uncle, Fred Meyer, was the founder of Meyer Pottery in Vernon, California, where her father worked and where Etcheverry herself started working in...
Image shows a print room-style wallpaper with framed views of Washington Square Park, New York City. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Picturing Washington Square Park
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Picture Gallery copies the format of a print room wallpaper. The trend for print rooms was said to have started in Paris during the 1720s, becoming fashionable in England by the 1750s. Print room walls were adorned...
Image features a black and white abstract shape, comprised of two overlapping ovals, with geometric patterns. In red lettering the image also says Cincinnati Art Museum (at the top) and June Wayne (at the bottom). Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
From Target to Tamarind
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. In September of 1969, the Cincinnati Art Museum hosted a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the work of June Wayne (1918-2011). Although Wayne’s prolific design practice spanned multiple media, today she is especially celebrated for her work as...