Upcoming Exhibitions

Ribbon-like folds of black and white cubes overlaid with colorful cube ribbons that say "Olivetti" and "Divisumma" and have digits and plus, minus, division, equals sighns

Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master

Opening Nov. 16, 2019

Coinciding with the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimer, Germany, this exhibition presents rare works by the groundbreaking graphic designer Herbert Bayer (1900–1985). As a student and teacher at the Bauhaus, Bayer helped shape the discourse of modern graphic design. After leaving the Bauhaus in 1928, he worked in Berlin, where he designed commercial advertising and typefaces. He emigrated in 1938 to the US, where he worked as a designer and became a lifelong spokesman for the Bauhaus, amplifying the school’s mystique. Learn more.

Willi Smith: Street Couture

Opening march 13, 2020

In the first museum exhibition dedicated to American designer Willi Smith (1948–1987), co-founder of the iconic brand WilliWear, over 200 works by Smith and collaborators will illuminate how the streetwear pioneer broke down social, cultural, and economic boundaries.

Ghetto Gastro Selects

Opening April 20, 2020

The Bronx, New York-based creative collective Ghetto Gastro will curate the 19th installment in the exhibition series that invites designers, artists, architects, and public figures to examine and interpret the museum’s collection.

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

Opening may 15, 2020

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 will feature 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.

nature by design: selections from the permanent collection

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.

nature by design: COCHINEAL

Opening Nov. 16, 2019

Since Pre-Hispanic times the cochineal insect has been used as a natural colorant by indigenous peoples from the Americas. This installation explores the enduring legacy of cochineal and its innovative use among contemporary designers from across the Americas through a variety of medium including lacquered furniture, textiles, and works on paper.

Nature by design: after icebergs

opening Nov. 16, 2019

In 1859, the American landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church traveled by ship to Newfoundland to observe icebergs. On the 160th anniversary of his expedition, After Icebergswill present a selection of sketches and studies made by Church that document his first-hand impressions of these majestic forms of floating ice.

Nature by design: botanical expressions

opening dec. 7, 2019

Interpretations of botanical forms wind their way through the decorative arts of the late 18ththrough the early 20th centuries. Botanical Expressions focuses on key figures—Christopher Dresser, Emile Gallé, William Morris, and Louis Comfort Tiffany—whose knowledge of the natural sciences and personal practices of gardening enriched their creative output as designers.


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.

Ghetto Gastro Selects is made possible by the Marks Family Foundation Endowment Fund.

Featured Image: View of Poster, Divisumma, 1953; Designed by Herbert Bayer; Client: Ing. C. Olivetti & C S.p.A.; Offset lithograph; Collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum