Object of the Day

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2013-37-1
Pattern Play
Alexander Girard was one of the most prolific interior architects of the twentieth century, one who expressed his enthusiasm for design through his vibrant use of color. Believing that modernism did not equate with the use of drab colors, he incorporated bright hues and bold geometric patterns into his designs. He developed an exciting fabric line for...
Border, 1955
A Cozy Kitchen Paper
A coffee pot, a water pump, a cast iron stove, and fish are just some of the things scattered along the length of this border. They are done in a strong graphic style, and they float haphazardly against a collection of irregular polygons in yellow, green, brown, and red, the same colors used to highlight...
Textile, "Feathers," 1961, designed by Alexander Hayden Girard (American, 1907–1993), manufactured by Herman Miller Textiles, screen printed on cotton plain weave, Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 2015-20-1
Color Transparency
Alexander Girard was the head of the Textile Division of Herman Miller Inc. from 1952 to 1973. During this time, he created over three hundred designs for textiles coordinated for use as upholstery fabrics and draperies for private and commercial interiors, exhibitions and corporate identity programs. His exuberant use of color, texture and pattern drew...
Rand Dancer
Dancer on Orange Ground
Dancer on Orange Ground  is a poster designed by acclaimed graphic designer Paul Rand (American, 1914-1996) in 1939. The poster is taken from the March 1939 cover of Direction magazine, an avant-garde publication that Rand began contributing to that year. Rand is most widely known from his time as the art director of Esquire from...
272105_9ad4464f56d856ca_b[1]
A Wild Meadow
This lively sidewall is the work of Felice Rix-Ueno, a designer who produced numerous textile and wallpaper patterns in the 1920s for the Wiener Werkstätte, the famous Viennese production company and artist collective formed in 1903. Her work is an excellent example of late Wiener Werkstätte designs. With the arrival of several female designers beside...
WestinghouseAdvertBHAG
“… of course, it’s electric!”
“The Battle of the Centuries” was a dish washing contest between Mrs. Drudge and Mrs. Modern, between hand washing vs. electric dishwashers at the 1939/40 New York World’s Fair. This contest promoted all the benefits of modern appliances and is part of the history of new and improved technology in the modern age. The Cooper Hewitt Library...
2009-18-152
The Beauty in Simplicity
The Austrian architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933) designed a set of drinking glasses in 1931 to be shown at the Exhibition of Interiors in Cologne.  His intention was to display to the public how an updated table setting should look.  Loos, who was known to have a simplified, rectangular and rectilinear design aesthetic chose the well-known...
Textile, ca. 1966, USA, hand-pulled strié ground, screen printed, on cotton plain weave, Gift of Seth Tillett and Nicole Rauscher, 2015-16-3
Bold Lace
Queen Anne’s Lace recalls the simple charm of a photogram, but it is technically multi-layered and complex. The brilliant red background is entirely hand-pulled with the drag-box. Slight overlapping of the bands of color creates pinstripes of darker red. The flowers are screen printed in opaque white ink, while a second screen of just the...
deskey light
Drumming Up A Streetlight
Despite the presence of over 300,000 streetlamps in at least 30 distinct designs, few of the millions who visit Manhattan’s bustling streets every year take note of these integral pieces of city life. The lights have not, however, completely escaped notice: this design drawing by Donald Deskey, one of the most influential Industrial Designers of his era, represents one of many...