Current Exhibitions

Three black and white photographs are hung on a wall covered in colorful textile patterns featuring botanical and zoological themes.

Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer: The Prints That Made the Fashion Brand
on View through January 2, 2022

Drawn, watercolor textile design consisting of white and pastel pink striped flowers with honey-colored centers, and orange and black spotted cheetahs against a blush pink background with terracotta orange spots.

Photo: Matt Flynn © The Original I.P. LLC.

Between 1962 and 1985, prolific textile designer Suzie Zuzek (1920-2011) created over 1,500 designs for Key West Hand Print Fabrics in Key West, Florida, which were used by Lilly Pulitzer. The exhibition features more than 35 original watercolor and gouache design drawings by Zuzek, alongside finished screen-printed textiles and some of the fashions that made them famous, to reveal the nature and scope of Zuzek’s artistic contribution to the iconic Pulitzer style. The publication Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer: The Artist Behind an Iconic Fashion Brand, 1962-1985 is available at SHOP Cooper Hewitt.

Learn more about Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer: The Prints That Made the Fashion Brand

Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro Selects
On View through February 13, 2022

A black ink outline drawing with shaded grey washes on off-white paper depicting the early 20th century, neo-Georgian style, sprawling mansion that houses the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, viewed from below as it is almost entirely submerged in turbulent, surging waves, and engulfed by dark, storm clouds.

Jon Gray, co-founder of the Bronx, New York-based creative collective and cooking advocacy group Ghetto Gastro, curates the 19th installment in the exhibition series that invites designers, artists, architects, and public figures to examine and interpret the museum’s collection.

Learn more about Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro Selects.

The Modernist French Garden: Designs by the Vera Brothers
On View through January 2, 2022

A drawing of an octagonal garden with evergreen trees and plant beds surrounded by a wall.

In the early 20th century, French brothers André and Paul Vera sought to develop a new style of gardens, one that paired a modern geometric order with elements of prized 17th century landscape traditions. This exhibition unites over 20 of the brothers’ striking Art Deco drawings for gardens with their 1912 published treatise Le nouveau jardin (The New Garden).

Learn more about The Modernist French Garden: Designs by the Vera Brothers.


on view through APRIL 10, 2022

Graphic advertising poster for [AEROSHELL LUBRICATING OIL], with a stylized image of a sleek racing car in motion, in black, deep blues, white, and warm yellow

The largest-ever exhibition of works by graphic design pioneer E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954) traces the designer’s transformative role in integrating avant-garde style into modern life. Renowned in his lifetime as the “poster king,” Kauffer’s career encompassed all media as he relentlessly pursued innovation in the commercial arts. The exhibition features more than 150 design objects, ranging from riveting posters promoting revolutions in transportation to book jackets and illustrations for the most influential publications of the time, as well as groundbreaking abstract designs for theatrical productions, carpets, film titles, and more. The publication E. McKnight Kauffer: The Artist in Advertising—a 2021 Alice Award finalistis available at SHOP Cooper Hewitt.

Learn more about Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer. 

Nature by Design: Selections from the Permanent Collection
On View through  January 2, 2022                                           In the galleries of Cooper Hewitt is displayed a large, old fashioned book with its pages open. Behind the book is a case with a set of 12 porcelain plates with botanical models painted on them. Behind the case, printed in jumbo scale on the wall, is a botanical illustration of a flowering plant with pink flowers. Two butterflies with black and yellow wings flutter around the flower.

Discover how nature and design have intersected in the past and continue to converge in our world. Learn how designers across the centuries have observed nature, investigated its materials, and imitated and abstracted its patterns and shapes.

Learn more about Nature by Design: Selections From The Permanent Collection.

Immersion Room

Cooper Hewitt’s extraordinary collection of wallcoverings is featured in the Immersion Room. Visitors are invited 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

Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer is made possible with support from the Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery Endowment Fund and the Esme Usdan Exhibition Endowment Fund.

E. McKnight Kauffer: The Artist in Advertising is made possible in part by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.

Nature by Design is made possible by major support from Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee. Additional support is provided by the Cooper Hewitt Master’s Program Fund.

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.

Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro Selects is made possible by Crystal and Chris Sacca and the Marks Family Foundation Endowment Fund.

Featured Image: Installation view of "Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer" at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution