about

The Object of the Week blog is written by Cooper Hewitt’s curators, graduate fellows, and contributing researchers and scholars. Posts are published every Monday 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.

Object features a sheer panel of blue and white stripes. Heavy threads of off-white kibiso create horizontal stripes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Suzushi Stripe
Suzushi Stripe is part of a series Nuno made from kibiso and raw silk. (The kibiso is the white coarse stripe in the textile.) The combination of these two materials reveals a very rich texture, structure, and surface design. Kibiso, an industrial waste product, is the protective outer layer of the silk cocoon that is “wiped off”...
Image features a polished chrome-plated cocktail service consisting of tall cylindrical cocktail shaker and lid, a rectangular tray with stepped rim; and six cylindrical cups with slender stems and circular feet. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Manhattan Neat
Millions of Americans wanted a drink when Prohibition was repealed at the end of 1933. Perhaps it might be better to say a legal drink? Alcohol consumption for the thirteen years after the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment had by no means stopped. In basements of brownstones and behind backroom doors, a generation of Americans...
Image features a drawing showing a view looking up into a circular coffered cupola, sculpted with flowers. An entablature consisting of three windows separated by pillars supports the interior ceiling. A lantern tops the cupola. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Dome and Cupola that Were Not There
This blog post was originally published on  November 30, 2012. This perspective tour de force dazzles the eye with the complexities of its illusionistic architecture. The story behind the work is equally compelling. When the magnificent Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola was constructed in Rome during the late 16th-century Counter Reformation, the newly founded Jesuit order...
Set of four, cube-shaped chrome-plated shakers with white plastic bases; the tops of two with engraved and pierced with a comet among stars, the comet's "tail" formed by three curved lines of holes; the other two shakers with engraved stars and holes forming the planet Saturn surrounded by a ring. Please scroll down to read the blog post about these objects.
Please Pass the Planet
The clean-lined geometric forms of these salt and pepper shakers show American modernism’s affinity for simplicity. During the 1930s the emergence of chromed metal, steel, and aluminum tableware coincided with the rise of modernist designs for everyday objects. These simple metal cubes were created with cost-effective manufacturing techniques, stamping and piercing, to create utilitarian and...
Image features: Textile printed with 5 repeats of a mirror-image panel showing a woman in a red dress and plumed red hat facing left (in the original) and riding a white horse, rearing on its hind legs. A stylized background in shades of rose, chartreuse and white suggests a cloud of dust behind the horse and rider. The drawing is dated 11-3-59 in a black space at the top. The mirror image has the date backward. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Carnet II
Bloomcraft Fabrics, a New York-based producer of woven textiles that collaborated with artists ranging from Rockwell Kent to Gloria Vanderbilt, released the Picasso Collection in 1963. As announced by an advertisement in American Fabrics: “This unusual collection links the work of the world’s greatest living painter and the world of interior design through a series...
Image features a wallpaper design with two putti, two birds, and a goat. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Golden Age, or Two Putti and a Goat
The Golden Age is a delightful wallpaper designed by Walter Crane in 1887 and printed by Jeffrey & Co. in London as part of their Victorian Wall-Paper collection. The design contains two winged putti, standing on a large foliate swag, supporting or carrying a large basket of fruit. There are two large birds, maybe cockatoos,...
Book, "A day at the New York World's Fair with Peter and Wendy"
1964: I was there…in my Orange and Blue
This post was originally published on April 22, 2014. The Cooper-Hewitt Library has a large collection of over 2,000 World’s fair catalogues and books. Some are children’s souvenirs and stories. A day at the New York World’s Fair with Peter and Wendy brings back memories of certain things I remember from visiting the world’s fair.....
Image features bright red text set against a lime green background. The text is manipulated so that the letters join into a single swirling form evocative of smoke or flame.
Remembering Wes Wilson (1937–2020)
Designer Wes Wilson, who died on January 24, 2020, at age 82, created some of the most memorable posters of the psychedelic era. These wavy-gravy, acid-colored, hand-lettered provocations for the eye accompanied rock shows at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium and Avalon Ballroom. Wilson’s posters for the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Association, and other bands...
Image features a richly hued wallpaper depicting a vividly colored peacock perched in a cedar tree, amidst purple lilac and yellow wisteria blossoms, all on a black background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object
As Pretty as a Peacock, indeed
This is one of the most gorgeous and dramatic wallpapers produced during the early twentieth century. The design shows a brilliantly colored peacock perched in a cedar tree, with copious blossoms of lilac and wisteria in yellow and lavender. All of the printed colors pop against the black ground. And note the size of the...