Object of the Day

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1921-41-21
Printing A Name
What is the importance of being able to place a name upon the things we create? Perhaps it gives one the ability to become more than just a faceless member of a crowd, to leave behind a mark of what they have made. Historically, women have often remained nameless with the things they create. This is...
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Mischievous Dogs
This wallpaper shows two sections of a frieze design by the architect and designer William Burges. Known as one of the pre-eminent practitioners of the Gothic Revival style in Britain, Burges was known for his obsession with the Middle Ages, and he frequently referred to himself as a “Goth.” Perhaps his most famous works include...
1979-77-9
Louie Louie
Louis Sullivan’s ornament can be appreciated on both a large scale—think Chicago’s Carson Pirie Scott building—and a small one—this cast iron doorplate. Having been removed from its original location during the mid-twentieth century, this doorplate is from Adler & Sullivan’s last commission, the Guaranty Building (now called the Prudential Building). The building became a National...
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A Serving of Dish
In July 2016, Town and Country magazine published an article called “Why Pink and Green is the Best Color Combination Ever.” One look at the design for the 1989 single released by North Carolina rock band Dish, and it’s clear that graphic designer Maura Dillon was thinking the same thing nearly 30 years before. The...
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The First American World’s Fair
The 1853 Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations was New York’s answer to the groundbreaking, wildly successful 1851 Great Exhibition in London. It originally took place in what is now Bryant Park, in an enormous Crystal Palace built to rival the iconic Crystal Palace of the previous exhibition. The fair was the brainchild of...
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Psychedelic Seats
This poster for the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibition The Modern Chair: Its Origins and Evolution was designed by John van Hamersveld in 1977. Van Hamersveld, a California born and bred graphic designer, is most widely known as the artist behind the iconic 1964 Endless Summer movie poster. Incorporating fluorescent paints and striking graphic language, van Hamersveld brought...
1995-125-8
Knoll’s Orchestra Disk Holder: An Artifact of Office Tech
Knoll Group’s Orchestra Disk Holder is an artifact of the bygone days when floppy disks were the most widely used digital storage tools in the corporate landscape. First introduced by IBM in 1971, the floppy disk reigned supreme until the late 2000s when smaller-scale or higher-tech alternatives like the USB flash drive, optical discs (CDs...
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Out of Italy
This frieze represents a very late example of the English Regency style in wallpaper. The Regency style is largely connected to the period between 1800-1830 and is considered the final development of English Neoclassicism, the dominant design style in Britain for most of the late 18th-century and early-19th century. The date of this paper places...
vedder mermaid
Maid in Glass
Perhaps better known for his illustrations of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Elihu Vedder’s prolific career began in the 1860’s, when the Hudson River School was in its prime, and ended in the early 20th century, when Modernism was taking root. His work, influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, captured the imagination of late 19th-century audiences. Born...