Object of the Day

SORT BY:
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...
buy
Who Will Buy?
This paper features a delightful cast of characters. Various street salesmen, framed as if on postcards or playing cards, sell goods as varied as lavender, sassafras, and cod liver oil. In between them Neo-Rococo frames surround names of further goods such as “Tobacco”, “Sugar”, and “Tonic.” Though this paper is from the 1950s, one could...
105672_28c992a505f7fdb0_b
Picasso’s Fish
In 1953, Dan Fuller, president of Fuller Fabrics, invited five of the 20th century’s most distinguished artists: Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, and Raoul Dufy, to collaborate on a line of textiles to be called the Modern Master Series. The concept was unique in that the artists were not commissioned to produce...
1997-49-4
Burning Book Covers
If you’re judging this book by its cover, Chip Kidd’s 1989 design for Watching the Body Burn by Thomas Glynn might encourage you to wonder what crazy contents lie within. The disjointed imagery, text, and loud colors certainly draw consumer attention, but Kidd’s design is more than a sales tactic—the frenetic cover design complements the...
18339887
Interlaced Cultures
Likely dating from the early to mid sixteenth century, this tile illustrates Spain’s rich multicultural design history. Spain’s remarkable decorative pottery tradition originated during the eighth century when the country was conquered by the Moorish Muslim troops of North Africa as part of the expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate. This sixteenth-century tile shows how influential...
dufour
Egypt on the Walls
This scenic paper depicts quite an active scene. On the right, French soldiers on horseback charge off the right edge of the paper. In the middle and in the left background, various wounded Turkish soldiers rest beside an obelisk or sit in a makeshift hospital. On the far left, three French soldiers watch as an...
Matt Flynn 002
Bizarre Textiles
Silk designs of 1695 to 1715, commonly termed ‘bizarre,’ were characterized by sinuous lines, strong diagonal movement, and motifs in strangely juxtaposed scales, which might include architectural elements, chinoiserie, and fantastical fruits and flowers. The seventeenth century was the age of exploration, and fashionable novelty was found in the rare and strange. Botanical gardens such...