Object of the Day

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Image features wallpaper with images and symbols of the French Revolution. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this wallpaper.
French Revolution Wallpaper
This wallpaper from the French Revolution period was one of the early pieces collected by the museum founders. It took me a while to understand how these papers were used as I can’t imagine hanging a political wallpaper in my home today. But the citizens of France felt differently, they thought that the Revolution could...
Image features: Fragment showing a design comprised of four blocks, based on a human and animal figures, and one with a geometric interlacing design, in maroon, green and blue. Design inspired by motifs found on the textiles of mummy bundles from the Bolivian Andes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Bol-Inca by California Hand Prints
On November 21, 1939, Women’s Wear Daily reported on the upcoming launch of a new line of fabrics from the Bol-Inca Group. Under the art direction of Will Chappel, this group of eight fabrics took direct inspiration from a collection of original pre-Columbian fabrics purchased in Bolivia by fashion and accessories designer Alma Norton Duffill...
Image features a gilt bronze mount depicting a winged figure in a chariot pulled by butterflies. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Eros and Psyche: True Love Captured in Gilt Bronze
This is a gilt bronze furniture mount made in France, in about 1800. Highly decorative mounts like this one were important elements in interior and furniture design from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries. They were created by master artisans trained in a strict guild system which applied exacting standards to the fabrication...
Image shows a floral stripe wallpaper design printed in very bright colors. Please scroll down for a further description of this wallpaper.
Bright and Lively Flowers
Here is a perky design that seemed appropriate for a summer post. Printed in shades of pink and green this floral stripe pattern is quite striking in its intensity. While this all but screams late 1960s it is a fun design that could work beautifully in a maximalist interior today. Different shades and hues of...
Image features a cream colored poster with an orange border and text, in the middle of which is a diagonally oriented black and white photograph of Philip Glass made up of tiny typographical symbols and letters. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Performance Poster for Glass
In 1967, the composer and musician Philip Glass formed the Philip Glass ensemble in New York, a group of seven musicians playing keyboards and woodwinds, amplified through a mixer. Glass previously studied at the University of Chicago, Julliard and in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, but found himself frustrated with modern music. This dissatisfaction led him...
Image features a custom wallpaper by A.W.N. Pugin which contains his clients monograms along with crescents and ermine tails. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this wallpaper.
Visions of Crescent Moons and Ermine Tails
This is one of a number of wallpaper designs by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin in the museum collection. Pugin began designing wallpapers in the early 1840s, and was probably the most prolific wallpaper designer of the nineteenth century, designing more patterns than even William Morris. He created a number of private commissions for large country...
Image features The Tyrolian Singer , before and after pulling the pull tab mechanism. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Living Pictures
The Cooper Hewitt Design Library recently acquired another Lothar Meggandorfer (1847-1925) movable book for its pop-up and movable collection. He is known for his children’s book illustrations, but is best known as a movable book designer.
Image features: Small pieces of printed cotton in various colors patched to form a star medallion with scalloped outer edge. Each medallion set in white cotton about eighteen inches square. Twenty-five squares, each five by five inches, joined in a grid of strips of printed cotton, predominantly green. The center of each medallion plain white and several have handwritten inscriptions: "Our mother / The First to Cherish / The last to desert us. / Wm D. Jones / Frances L. Jones / May 11, 1845." "Made by Our Mother / Lucy Jones/ for / I.S. and M.P. Jones / 1845 / in her 64th year." "Our Parents / May the Evening of their / lives be as the morning sun / I.P. and M.E. Jones." Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Mariner’s Compass
A very special family quilt in the Mariner’s Compass pattern was given to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum by Susan Weitzman in 1972. Thanks to thoughtful, easy to read, handwritten inscriptions found on three of the twenty-five squares that make up the quilt, we know that Lacy Jones made the quilt in 1845, and that...
Image features squat round clear glass bottle encased in a gold-toned metal sleeve with six jingling bells around circumference; gold-toned flaring circular foot; removable circular gold-toned metal cap. Separate square, gold foil-covered presentation box and brown cardboard outer box. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Ting-A-Ling, the Perfume Bottle that Sings
This festive little perfume bottle embodies the creative genius of French couturier Lucien Lelong, active between 1919, when he opened his first couture house, and 1948, the year he retired. Lelong was influential in shaping the world of haute couture throughout much of the twentieth century. Among his contemporaries were Chanel, Worth, Patou, Lanvin and...