Current Exhibitions

Two out of focus people, one with long curly brown hair and one with a swoop of grey hair, face away from the camera, turning their attention to a vibrant wallcovering with a cheerful-looking parrot situated against a background of jungle foliage.

Nature by Design: Selections from the Permanent Collection

Scenic wallpaper, Sea Beauties, 1920-1935<br /> Made by Ideal Wall Decoration (Germany), distributed by The Prager Company (Worcester, Massachusetts, USA)<br /> Lithograph print on paper<br /> 169.2 x 105.7 cm (66 5/8 x 41 5/8 in.) each panel<br /> Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum<br /> Gift of the family of Victor S. Robinson, Salem, New Jersey, 2004-16-1/3<br /> Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

To accompany the special exhibition, Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, Nature by Design presents a rotating selection of extraordinary design drawn from Cooper Hewitt’s collection of over 210,000 objects, inviting visitors to discover how nature and design have intersected in the past and continue to converge in our world.

Learn more  about Nature By Design: Selections From The Permanent Collection

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

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

Extended to May 27, 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.

Extended to october 27, 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.

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.

EXTENDED TO September 2, 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

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.

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.