Interior installation photograph inside a room with intricate carved molding. Objects displayed behind a series of tall folding screens.
Duro Olowu Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection
Previously On View: Friday, March 18, 2022 to Sunday, August 28, 2022

Duro Olowu Selects is the twentieth installment in Cooper Hewitt’s Selects series, which invites designers, writers, and cultural figures to explore and interpret objects in the museum’s collection. This exhibition is curated by Nigerian-British designer Duro Olowu who has received international recognition for his eponymous fashion label, textile designs, and curatorial work, which take inspiration...

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Close-up photograph of a section of objects displayed behind plexiglass in a white gallery. In the center of the glass display case is a long, horizontal-rectangular cream canvas mounted on the wall with an intricate olive-green repeating design of leaves and flowers with accents of orange and light green. Underneath is a row of silver objects placed on a clear glass shelf, including two shallow silver baskets with their handles up on the left, a silver tea urn in the shape of Atlas supporting the world in the center, and two elaborately-decorated cylindrical tea caddies on the right. On either side, also behind glass, are two recessed windows with cream blinds drawn down, in front of them are two white platforms, on each stands a golden three pronged candelabra.
Foreign Exchange: 18th-Century Design on the Move
Previously On View: Friday, January 28, 2022 to Sunday, September 25, 2022

Drawing from Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection, this exhibition explores the unprecedented circulation of labor, skills, aesthetics, and luxury goods across international borders in the 18th century. It traces the movement of people, ideas, and objects across borders, challenging notions of foreign and domestic, community member and outcast, and national style. The desire for luxury goods...

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Watercolor study of yellow squash or pumpkin blossoms, with green vines, on white paper
Sophia Crownfield: Drawn from Nature
Previously On View: Friday, February 4, 2022 to Sunday, July 31, 2022

From the 1890s to the 1920s, Sophia Crownfield (American, 1862–1929) designed prints for some of the most prominent silk and wallpaper manufacturers in the United States. Her drawings of flowers range from delicate graphite sketches to vivid color studies, revealing her obvious ease with different types of specimens. Through progressive stages of rework, she developed...

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View of gallery wall painted blue with large circular opening, flanked on either side by vertical posters and visitors looking at artwork. Circular opening provides sightline to other parts of the exhibition and more visitors within the museum.
Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer
Previously On View: Friday, September 10, 2021 to Sunday, April 10, 2022

Hailed in his lifetime as “the poster king,” E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954) believed that the street was an art gallery for the people. While living in England between 1914 and 1940, Kauffer produced radical posters for advertising that introduced modernism to the public. He experimented in provocative ways with line, form, space, and color to promote services and products. ...

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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 of Ghetto Gastro Selects
Previously On View: Thursday, July 1, 2021 to Sunday, February 13, 2022

Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro Selects is the 19th installation in the exhibition series that invites designers, artists, architects, and public figures to explore and interpret Cooper Hewitt’s collection of more than 215,000 objects. Cofounder of the creative collective and cooking advocacy group Ghetto Gastro, Jon Gray works at the intersection of food, culture, and...

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The Modernist French Garden: Designs by the Vera Brothers
Previously On View: Thursday, June 10, 2021 to Sunday, January 2, 2022

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 will unite over 20 of the brothers’ striking Art Deco drawings for gardens with their 1912 published treatise Le nouveau jardin (The New Garden).

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View exhibitions prior to 2015 on the collection site