Object of the Day

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Diagonal Plaid
Industrial designer Donald Deskey, along with his contemporaries, Norman Bel Geddes and Gilbert Rohde, adapted austere European Modernism to be palatable for the American taste. Deskey introduced novel ideas with the use of new materials such as Bakelite, aluminum, Permatex, and rayon. He was sensitive to budget constraints of the 1930s consumer, an offered a...
Dawn Shadows
As a young child, Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), born Leah Berliawsky, immigrated to the United States from Kiev, then part of the tumultuous Russian Empire (and the capital of present-day Ukraine).  She and her family settled in Maine, where she adopted the more American name, Louise.  After her 1920 marriage, Nevelson enmeshed herself in the New...
Plastic Virtue
Lea Stein’s laminated celluloid jewelry designs joyously celebrate the materiality of plastic. Fusing together thin sheets of brightly colored acetate to create elaborately layered designs—seen here in this bracelet from 1970—Stein and her husband, Ferdinand Steinberger, developed this process in the late 1960s. Steinberger was a chemist who invented this new chemical process, which allowed...
A Rhythmic Portrait
In 2002, Chinese graphic designer Jianping He founded Hesign, a Berlin-based design studio.  He studied both in China and in Germany, and his designs reflect the experiences of his training in both countries. In restrained color palettes, he executes bold poster designs with exacting precision, often incorporating both Chinese characters and Roman letters. To promote an exhibition...
Abstract Embroidery
The embroidered hanging, Fields from the Air, by artist and designer Mariska Karasz (American, b. Hungary, 1898–1960) is an exploration in abstraction. Karasz used tightly couched thick yarns to depict the swirling colors of the earth as seen from a great distance. She offset these heavy curvilinear forms with clusters of leaf and feather shapes...
Window Shade for the Well Dressed Parlor
I recently had the pleasure of photographing two rather large window shades that had never really been viewed before, due to their large size and fragile nature. These are part of a group of four shades, with each being contained in a rather simple but elegant wood cornice. The two shades that were photographed had...
Gift for the Table
In a December 2016 visit to Cooper Hewitt, George R.Kravis II converted the Promised Gift of this teapot to a  gift, joining a large group of objects that helps tell the story of twentieth and twenty-first century design, much of which represents the best of design often for everyday use. It is the first piece...
Wiener Wallpaper
Dagobert Peche was one of the most influential designers working in Europe in the 1910s and 20s. In 1910, after meeting influential Austrian designer Josef Hoffmann, Peche began contributing numerous designs for textiles and wallpapers to the Wiener Werkstätte, the design workshop founded by Hoffmann and Koloman Moser in 1903. Impressed by his work, Hoffmann...
Fresh Plaid
New York-based textile design firm Designtex collaborated with Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell of the British textile studio Wallace Sewell to create series of wool upholstery fabrics showcasing the duo’s signature sophisticated color work. Wallace Sewell is well-known for their colorful woven home and fashion accessories, but had not previously designed for the built environment....