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The Object of the Week blog is written by Cooper Hewitt’s curators, graduate fellows, and contributing researchers and scholars. Posts are published every week and present research on an object from the museum’s collection. With over 210,000 objects spanning thirty centuries of decorative arts and design, Object of the Week explores the material culture of textiles, graphic design, furniture, products, architectural drawings, wallcoverings, and much more.

Image features a young girl sitting at a table with a tool in her hand, modeling a figurine in clay. She faces right, in profile. A potted plant or flower arrangement is on the table, at right. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Virginia Modeling
Jerome Myers always had a sketchbook close at hand. When weather prevented him from sketching city life in New York, he would turn instead to self-portraits or drawings of his family. In this sketch, the artist’s daughter—Virginia—sits at a table, making a small figurine out of clay. Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Myers moved with his...
This image features a book page showing illustrations and vignettes of characters, and objects in vibrant Day-Glo colors. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Strange Brew: Creating Fluorescent Pigments
Day-Glo® : a moniker describing shades of orange, pink, green, blue, and yellow so bright they seem almost incandescent. The Day-Glo® Designer’s Guide, a trade catalogue in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Library, was published in 1969 at the height of the psychedelic era. The catalogue celebrates Day-Glo® colors at the peak of their popularity with the...
Image features: Tablecloth with square and rectangular compartments containing whimsical scenes inspired by Mughal and Persian miniature paintings and book illustrations. Scenes include seated musician on a carpet surrounded by flowering trees and swans, elephants with howdahs strapped to their backs, riders on horseback with parasols, and figures seated in elaborate garden pavilions. Primarily in shades of green, blue and pink. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Poetic Tablecloth
This colorful tablecloth was designed by Marion Dorn Kauffer, an accomplished twentieth-century designer primarily known for her textiles and carpets. Designing across different media, she also created wallpapers, illustrations, and graphics. The printed pattern that decorates this tablecloth features a series of square and rectangular vignettes inspired by Mughal painted miniatures from India. The vignettes...
Image features an upright, rectangular poster featuring a motif of a stylized cross in blue, black and orange. At the center, a kneeling man holds a bow and arrow. Decorative motifs with Dutch wording are In each of the four corners of the cross. A roundel with the words, Bestaans zerkerheid, is at the top of the composition; above this are the words: RADEN van ARBEID in blue and orange. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Designer Takes Aim
In celebration of May Day—at a moment when the essential role so many workers play in our community is at the forefront of our minds—we are re-posting a modified version of this blog by Virginia McBride originally published November 8, 2015. Formerly a 2014 Peter Krueger curatorial intern, then a Curatorial Assistant, and Cataoguer in Cooper Hewitt’s...
Image features a book opened to a pop-up paper construction of a black and white fishing trawler balanced on a house of cards decorated with playing card suits and a fish-as-joker motif, and images of fishes, all resting on a page spread printed with the netting and the poem "House of Cods."
House of Cods
In  recognition of  Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Digital Summit  (April 22 – 26, 2020), this week’s post features a work from the  Design Library, focused on environmental issues. The artist’s  book,  House of Cods, published by  Linda Smith and Picnic Press  in 1996, presents an engaging use of the book as a  form  of artistic expression, here addressing the environmental impact of ...
Image features a presidential campaign textile for Hubert H. Humphrey with alternating rows of the letter H enclosed by a green and blue border. Signature of Hubert H. Humphrey is in the bottom right of green border. Each square meant to be cut to make a campaign scarf. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Signature Scarf
This Hubert H. Humphrey “signature scarf” fabric was designed for Humphrey’s 1968 presidential campaign by Frankie Welch (a.k.a. Mary Frances Barnett), a textile and fashion designer as well as personal shopper and boutique owner. When her husband’s new position at the CIA first brought the Welch family to Washington, DC area in the 1950s, Frankie taught home...
Image features a rectangular four-panel folding screen decorated with a large, bright orange abstracted flame-like design against a tan ground; a wide blue, and narrow green band surround the perimeter of the screen. The reverse decorated by four green spirals, one on each panel. All four panels connected with striped orange border on tan ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Art into Life. A Life into Art.
Flowing forms of bright orange spread upwards, flickering across the four panels of this folding screen. The work, Fire-Orange, is one of a series of folding screens the American artist Jack Youngerman made beginning in 1978. Fire-Orange exemplifies how Youngerman, who passed away on February 19th at the age of 93, thoughtfully and creatively explored the nature and boundaries...
Image features brown paper bag, printed with representation of a wood-framed chair.
The Chieftain Chair Goes Shopping
This mid-twentieth century shopping bag celebrates an icon of Danish Modern furniture design. The bag, created in 1949 by Mike Romer and Ida Fabricius, is embellished with a boldly rendered illustration of the Chieftain chair (Høvdingestolen), designed in that same year by Danish architect and furniture designer Finn Juhl. With its dramatically curved leather upholstery...
This image features a view from the Brooklyn Academy of Music stage looking out at the theater’s great hall and balconies festooned with red, white, and blue streamers, bunting, and American flags. People in 19th attire meander along shopping for household wares and other goods. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Fair Ladies
Throughout March, Object of the Week celebrates Women’s History Month. Each Monday a new post highlights women designers in the collection. Author: Adrienne Meyer This lithograph is one of four in the Cooper Hewitt Design Library depicting scenes from the Brooklyn and Long Island Sanitary Fair of 1864.  These images capture some of the spectacle...