Object of the Day

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1959-140-21
A Parable on Paper
Bonad or bonader is a type of folk art once produced in large amounts in southern Sweden in the regions of Dalarna and Småland. At first bonad were paintings on textiles meant to imitate tapestries and the wall hangings of the elite, but in the late 18th century they were produced increasingly as paintings on...
1978-146-469-a,b
Cartier Deco Matchsafe
The development of friction matches in the early nineteenth century was a major discovery as it allowed for instantaneous and reliable fire on demand for the first time in history. The design of matchsafes arose as the early friction matches were both highly combustible and unstable. These decorative boxes allowed bulk matches to be protected...
Flynn 001
American Bauhaus
This printed textile, Campagna, by Angelo Testa epitomizes his distinct design vocabulary. Likely named after Testa’s friend, Paul Campagna, Testa designed it around 1950 for Knoll Associates. Campagna utilizes Testa’s preferred linear and geometric forms, commonly associated with his Bauhaus training. The hard edges of the concentric rectangles in this textile, however, have been softened...
3489_ad0b8a059424c732_b
A Miniature Playhouse
Imaginative author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in his 1884 essay, A Penny Plain and Twopence Coloured, “If you love art, folly, or the bright eyes of children, speed to Pollock’s…”[1] The toy theatre was a beloved pastime in 19th-century England that appealed to the creativity and craftsmanship of children and adults. Benjamin Pollock inherited his...
260334_7d04e6c82bb746a0_b[1]
Swallows and Lily Clouds
This wallpaper caught my eye at first because of the graceful swooping lines of the birds and the watercolor-like application of the blues. I thought it was a lovely scene of swallows flying in a morning sky. Then I noticed that many of clouds are actually water lilies. Are we looking then at the surface...
7008.1.2015
An Infinite Reflecting Vista
In the late 1990s, the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) in Tacoma, Washington announced its plan to relocate from the bank building that it had occupied since 1935 to a new site on the waterfront with views of Mt. Rainier.  National Design Award-winning architect Antoine Predock was selected to design a building that more than doubled...
Print
Americana Bandanna
The red cotton bandanna so closely linked to the American west was originally a tie-dyed silk scarf from India, and later the product of a number of European innovations. The Turkey-red process for dyeing cotton a brilliant, wash-fast scarlet red was mastered in Europe in the 18th century, but it was incompatible with printing processes....
Book
Living with Memphis
Ettore Sottsass Jr.’s iconic Carlton cabinet—sometimes referred to as a “sideboard” or “room divider”—is one the designer’s most recognizable works. Its anthropomorphic form is thought provoking and yet childishly simple. The Carlton cabinet’s playfulness is asserted in its mix of garish colors, patterns, and mass-market materials—plastic laminate and wood. When Sottsass designed this piece for...
Torten-Verzierungen_q TX771.2 .S74_ 1910Tafel24  %282%29 copy
The Category is Food and Drink
The Smithsonian Libraries’ has an Adopt-a-Book Program that the Cooper Hewitt Library has participated in for several years. Your “adoption” donation allows the Smithsonian Libraries to continue to grow the collection, preserve it for future generations, and make materials available around the world through digitization. Every year there is an “Adoption” event, so far, held...