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 large armchair, the frame made of multiple curved, twisted, and joined Longhorn steer horns comprising a bow-shaped back and arms surrounding a rectangular seat upholstered in modern metalic-toned leather on curved horn supports and legs terminating in feet with small brass casters. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Wenzel Friedrich’s Longhorn Furniture
Trained as a cabinetmaker in his native Bohemia, Wenzel Friedrich immigrated to the United States in 1853, settling in San Antonio, Texas, and opening a revival-style furniture business. In 1880, he became more innovative, realizing the potential of the Texan stockyards’ abundant supply of Texas Longhorn cattle horns as a material for use in furniture...
Image features: Neon yellow linear cube pattern on a grey ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Bright Cube
Along with Bright Grid and Bright Angle, Bright Cube is the second series of products designed by Dutch designers, Stefan Scholten (b. 1972) and Carole Baijings (b. 1973) of Scholten & Baijings in collaboration with Maharam. Their first, Blocks and Grid, is in Cooper Hewitt’s collection. Scholten & Baijings’s work is characterized by minimal forms...
Image features an art deco-style wallpaper with pink birds against a background of gray foliage. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Pretty in Pink
Here is a charming wallpaper in the art deco style. The motifs are highly stylized with bright pink and fuchsia-colored birds nestled among dense gray foliage. The design is rendered in a minimal fashion, with the leaves consisting of little more than a metallic gold outline around ovals in two shades of gray, with larger...
Image features page showing Cinderella in the garden picking onions and gathering beeswax from the beehives. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this illustration.
Cinderella Goes Batik
At the Cooper Hewitt Museum the study and teaching of design includes learning about the materials and techniques used in designing objects, textiles, and works on paper. The Cooper Hewitt Museum Library collection supports research into the study of design with books that demonstrate and document techniques and materials, the “how to” and “with what”...
Image features a scene in a town: In the foreground to the left, long strips of colorful fabric hang from wooden poles. In the background to the right, people walk in front of a row of shops under a yellow sky. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Next Stop: Narumi
Though for centuries woodblock printing had been a prevalent method of inexpensively and widely disseminating religious texts in Japan, it was not until the eighteenth century that this technique blossomed to bolster the creation of pictorial compositions, more complex and richly colored than the written documents previously published. These prints, known as ukiyo-e, are both...
“How High the Moon”
In his How High the Moon chair, designer Shiro Kuramata utilizes an industrial material, steel mesh, to give a contemporary interpretation to the traditional club chair. The shape and proportions are based on an established Western form—a bulky, deeply upholstered easy chair with a low back and deep arms—but here, Kuramata’s use of an unexpected...
Image features a length of velvet with wales, having a repeating pattern of pointed oval stained glass windows set between vertical bands decorated with diamond shapes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
San Chapelle, le Premier
In 1923, E. Irving Hanson (American, 1878–1955), vice president of the textile firm H.R. Mallinson & Company, made a visit to France. With a long-standing interest in art and design, his trip inspired a group of six textiles based on famous places in that country, using iconic churches and gardens as its theme. In Paris,...
Image features a children's wallpaper illustrating the Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Little Boy Blue, Asleep on the Job
This is a charming children’s wallpaper based on the Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme. The design contains three different vignettes, arranged in trefoil format, each one illustrating a different line from the verse. A cow is shown in the first view, two sheep in the next, while the little boy in blue is shown sound...
Image features a drawing of a tall, obelisk-shaped tower with many floors of arched windows illuminating the structure. In front of the building, is a curved plaza lined with trees and dotted with small figures and a pool of water in the foreground. There are additional buildings and trees in the background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Indiana Tower: An Unrealized Monument
Today’s blog post was originally published on November 29, 2017. César Pelli passed away on July 19th, 2019. In addition to creating models, architects often think through the planning stages of a building’s design by producing detailed, hyper-realistic drawings. While they may lack technical notations denoting dimensions or materials, these drawings provide an overall sense...