Current Exhibitions

A woman with her hair in a top knot and dressed a pink tank top wearing 3D glasses smiles broadly as she views an installation of floral wallpaper that appears 3 dimensional when wearing the glasses Scroll down for information on the museum's current exhibitions.

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color

An image of a 1920s glazed earthenware sample plate depicting a color wheel. Scroll down for information about the exhibition Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color now on view.

Through January 13, 2019

Spanning antiquity to the present, more than 190 objects from the extraordinary collections of Smithsonian Libraries and Cooper Hewitt come together to reveal how designers apply the theories of the world’s greatest color thinkers to bring order and excitement to the visual world.

Learn more about Saturated.

Color Decoded: The Textiles of Richard Landis

Rectangular weaving with a grid-like pattern of small squares and rectangles in shades of black, white, gray, blue, rust, and ochre. Click on the image to learn more about an exhibition of Richard Landis textiles.

Through January 13, 2019

Richard Landis’s double-cloth textiles are complex systems of closely related full-tones and half-tones of color, organized into abstract geometries of endless variation. Color Decoded celebrates the recent acquisition of six of the master weaver’s most important textiles, installed together with three process drawings and a selection of weavings.

Learn more about Color Decoded.

Moustiers Ceramics: Gifts from the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Collection

A faience jardiniere produced in Moustiers, France during the 18th century.

Through January 21, 2019

Showcasing nearly 60 works of faience, alongside related prints and textiles, produced in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, France during the 18th century, the exhibition celebrates the substantial gift of Moustiers ceramics from the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw collection to Cooper Hewitt.

Learn more about Moustiers Ceramics: Gifts from the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Collection.

student projects on accessibility and inclusion

Now on view on the Ground Floor, an exhibition of Honorable Mentions, Finalists, and the Winner of Cooper Hewitt’s third annual National High School Design Competition, which challenged students to make an everyday place, process, or object accessible for all.

Rebeca Méndez Selects

Through June 16, 2019

Designer, artist, and educator Rebeca Méndez is the 17th guest curator of the Selects series, for which designers, artists, writers, and cultural figures are invited to mine and interpret the permanent collection. Selecting design objects from Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection, bird specimens from the National Museum of Natural History, and rare books from the Smithsonian Libraries, Méndez evokes the tensions arising from humankind’s conflicting impulses towards nature.

Learn more about Rebeca Méndez Selects.

Iridescence

Image features pitcher of squat bulbous gourd form with a large leaf-shaped spout and handle in the form of a gathered root or vine; green and gold iridescent luster finish. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.

Through March 24, 2019

Objects ranging from ancient to the contemporary show how the optical effects of iridescence have maintained a lasting impact on design.

Learn more about Iridescence.

Models & Prototypes Gallery

The second floor of Cooper Hewitt features a Models & Prototypes gallery, where rotating installations provide insights into the important role of models in the design process. Currently, the gallery showcases the exceptional models of staircases donated to Cooper Hewitt by Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw.

Learn more about the Models & Prototypes gallery.

Tablescapes: Designs for Dining

A section of an grand gilt-bronze surtout de table in Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. Click on the image for information about the exhibition Tablescapes: Designs for Dining.

Through April 14, 2019

Three distinct table settings from different time periods illuminate how design transforms the ritual of communal dining in response to cultural and social changes.

Learn more about Tablescapes: Designs for Dining

Scholten & Baijings: Lessons from the Studio

a pale grey espresso cup with a square handle and scored with vertical lines to reference a cardboard prototype, plus saucer, designed by Scholten & Baijings and now on view in Scholten & Baijings: Lessons from the Studio. Click on the image for more information about the installation.

through May 19, 2019

An interactive installation of industrial design from the award-winning Dutch design studio on view in the Process lab, where visitors can explore  the studio’s experiments with form, material, and color.

Learn more about Scholten & Baijings: Lessons from the Studio.

Immersion Room

Cooper Hewitt’s extraordinary collection of wallcoverings is featured in a new high-tech space, the Immersion Room, offering visitors the unprecedented experience of using the Pen to select digital images of wallpapers or sketch their own design and then project them onto the walls at full scale to see their impact. More than an entertaining interactive experience, the Immersion Room gives museum visitors their first opportunity to discover Cooper Hewitt’s wallcoverings as they were intended to be viewed.

Learn more about the Immersion Room.

Exhibition supporters

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color is made possible in part by support from the August Heckscher Exhibition Fund, Judy Francis Zankel, PeclersParis, and The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

Tablescapes: Designs for Dining is made possible by Anonymous. Conservation of the surtout de table is made possible by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee. In-kind support is provided by Shapeways and The Abadi Group.

Rebeca Méndez Selects is made possible by the Marks Family Foundation Endowment Fund and received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Digital Experience supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Exhibitions of the permanent collection are made possible by major support from Nancy Marks. Additional support is provided by Elizabeth and Lee Ainslie and the Henry Luce Foundation.

The Immersion Room is made possible by major support from Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee.

Process Lab is made possible by major support from Alice Gottesman.

The National High School Design Competition: All Access is made possible by the generous support of Target.