Object of the Day

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Behind the History of Chinese Ornament
Examples of Chinese Ornament Selected from Objects in the South Kensington Museum and Other Collections (figure 1) was written by Owen Jones (1809-1874), one of the most influential English architects, designers, and design theorists of the nineteenth century. Jones selected 100 full-color plates sourced from the motifs of Chinese ceramics, cloisonné works, and carpet designs,...
Return of the Native
This frieze by the New York-based Robert Graves Co. is an excellent example of the use of Native American motifs in American design at the turn of the century. Though this was an age that saw an unprecedented suppression of native culture, Native American art itself saw an unprecedented wave of appreciation and praise, particularly...
To Be Frankl
Opened in the early 1920s, when major museum exhibitions on contemporary American design were highlighting period revival styles, Frankl Galleries aimed to give direction to contemporary design in America, “particularly as it relates to industry.”[1][2]  Showcasing an innovative selection of furniture, decorative arts and interior design, Frankl Galleries inaugurated a new wave of Modernism in America, one which...
“All Kirked Up: Tiffany and Co. Pitcher”
During the second half of the nineteenth century, there was burgeoning interest in the designs of the Middle East, Japan, and China. This passion for all things that were “exotic” in the eyes of Americans led to a craze for objects inspired by these international decorative arts. At the time, much of the silver created...
Fair Wear
This silk scarf or square, a souvenir of the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York, illustrates an assortment of the buildings erected for the fair: the iconic Trylon and Perisphere, designed by Wallace K. Harrison and J. André Fouilhoux[i]; the Marine Transportation Building, Hall of Communication, Means of Production, Textile Building, Administration...
It goes to your head
In Budapest, Hungary 1935, Andrew Kner was born into a family whose history in design, bookbinding and publishing dated back to the 18th century. In 1940, the Kner family fled the Nazi regime in Hungary and landed in Chicago, Illinois. Kner displayed an early interest in graphic design and matriculated at Yale University, where he...
Yee-Haw!
Few things have captured the American imagination as much as the Wild West. A fixture of American pop culture, the Western genre had its earliest milestones in the first years of the 20th century with the publication of Owen Wister’s novel The Virginian in 1902 and the debut of the film The Great Train Robbery...
Color, Fun and Fantasy: The Telling Marks of Jewelry By Peter Chang
This bracelet by British jewelry designer Peter Chang is wholly entertaining, as much fun to look at as to wear. The bright green wheel features ten evenly distributed projections or terminals, each of which ends in a differently shaped and colored finial. The bright green body is punctuated with blue dots of varying sizes and...
There’s Only One-Way
Alexander Girard was a prolific textile designer, producing over three hundred textile designs during his near thirty-year tenure at Herman Miller, an important American furniture company and promoter of modern design. He was also an ardent collector, amassing a collection of cross-cultural folk art that ranks among the largest in the world. At Herman Miller,...