Object of the Day

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Fleeting Scenes
Stage designs occupy a unique place among Cooper Hewitt’s diverse holdings of works on paper. Unlike architectural fantasies or unrealized buildings, the intentional ephemerality of theater designs means that set designs, photographs, and models are often the only artifacts that remain to document these temporary spaces. The museum’s collection of stage designs spans the 17th...
Ancient Ruins Made Modern
Wallpaper production was dominated by French manufactures in the 18th and 19th centuries, a time period which is often regarded as the “golden age” of wallpaper. The quality of design and material, as well as the quantity of paper created aptly distinguishes this period. Starting around the mid-18th century, French manufactures and designers were able...
A Roosevelt Commemorative
This woven bookmark with President Theodore Roosevelt was made for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, an international exposition celebrating the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The exposition also was known informally as the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904 and was held from April 30th to December 1st. The bookmark was manufactured by the Anderson Brothers...
Double Golden Dragons
This extraordinary chalice takes its inspiration from dragon-stem goblets made by the legendary Venetian glassworkers in the seventeenth century. In this example, also made in Venice but in the late nineteenth century by Salviati & Company, the dragons have been elevated to the body of the cup. Several remarkable glassworking techniques are on display in this object....
A French Silversmith in Mexico
In 1941, famed French Art Deco silversmith Jean Puiforcat (1897-1945) wrote news from Mexico to his daughter, Claude, in Paris: “The country is truly marvelous; this captivating natural landscape accentuated by a civilization that goes back to the mist of time.”[1] Escaping German-held France, Puiforcat, soon joined by his family, fled to Mexico, establishing a...
Clothespins Collage
“Sharp, brilliant colors skillfully combined or used with neutral tones provide excitement in an extensive collection of textiles introduced by Herman Miller Company…” describes the New York Times writer Betty Pipes of Alexander Girard’s debut textile collection in 1952.[1] Girard was a European trained architect who came to prominence in Detroit, where he established an...
An Electrifying Lady
With Halloween still fresh in everyone’s minds, this paper conjures up a scene reminiscent of “The Bride of Frankenstein.” A metallic silver background greets the eye as the color pallet continues to sparkle and stun the viewer with its combination of blacks, reds, and yellows. Over a single repeat is a depiction of a Femme...
Literary Colors
Author: Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada This is a page from the book The Japanese Art of “Kusaki-zome,” Nippon Colours: Dyeing in a Hundred Colours with Juices of Plants and Grasses, by Akira Yamazaki, grandfather of my colleague Kazuki Yamazaki, who is, along with his father, Seiju Yamazaki, among the foremost authorities in Japanese natural dyeing and...
A Cricket on Ascension Day Keeps Bad Luck Away
According to the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven from the Mount of Olives on the 40th day after Easter. Some Christians commemorate this as Ascension Day. In Italy, Ascension Day is celebrated by the exchange of crickets between friends. If, in the course of the day, the cricket chirps, its...