18th century

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Dreaming with Don Quixote
This Object of the Day  celebrates one of many treasured objects given by Clare and Eugene V. Thaw to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.  It is republished here in memory of Eugene V. Thaw. Click on this link to read more about the Thaws and their gifts to Cooper Hewitt.    This polychrome interior hides architectural, visual,...
Dreaming with Don Quixote
This polychrome interior hides architectural, visual, and historic secrets. The drawing depicts the bedroom of King Pedro IV in the Palace of Queluz in the municipality of Sintra, just west of Lisbon. The Palace was originally constructed in the eighteenth century under King Pedro III as a summer home. It remained within the Portuguese royal family...
Unfinished Finery
Author: Kat Duiguid September is New York Textile Month! In celebration, members of the Textile Society of America will author Object of the Day for the month. A non-profit professional organization of scholars, educators, and artists in the field of textiles, TSA provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of information about textiles...
Buttons – An Expression of Curiosity
This button, from a set of nine, offers the viewer a chance to peek into the age of Enlightenment, a period of time when the human mind was breaking free from the constraints of the Church and the limitations of the Middle Ages. The Renaissance, primarily spanning the fifteenth through sixteenth centuries, is often thought...
A Question About Two Turkeys
“Can you help us in identifying where our birds were made?”[1] This inquiry is one of numerous others regarding two fowl from a 1968 letter from Catherine Lynn Frangiamore, then an assistant in the Department of Decorative Arts (now Product Design and Decorative Arts) at Cooper Hewitt, to Lino Sandonnini, then director of the Museo...
Printing A Name
What is the importance of being able to place a name upon the things we create? Perhaps it gives one the ability to become more than just a faceless member of a crowd, to leave behind a mark of what they have made. Historically, women have often remained nameless with the things they create. This is...
Contemporary Architecture and the Legacy of Piranesi
Some of the most significant architects of our era have cited designer and architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s influence on their work. Learn how architects Peter Eisenman, Founder and Principal, Eisenman Architects; Michael Graves, Founder and Principal, Michael Graves & Associates; and Robert Venturi, Principal of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates are inspired by Piranesi’s eclectic...
Cooper-Hewitt: Crossing Boundaries – The Transmission of Rococo
During its first wave of influence, the sinuous and sensuous curves of rococo rapidly spread across France, Holland, and Germany,developing a unique personality in each location. Cooper-Hewitt invites curators Henry Hawley, Reinier Baarsen, and Wolfram Koeppe to a panel discussion that examines the diaspora of rococo during the eighteenth century, and the regional differences in...
Rococo, The Continuing Curve
From its inception, exuberant, organic, and sensuous rococo style has inspired subsequent revivals and new movements. As rococo’s influence once again gains momentum, Cooper-Hewitt invites scholars Laura Auricchio and Paul Greenhalgh to discuss the social and cultural histories behind rococo in eighteenth-century France and its revival in Art Nouveau at the end of the nineteenth...