architectural

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An 18th-Century Look-A-Like
Câche-pot literally means “hide the pot” as in a fancy word for a flower pot, something that containes the less decorative pots from the garden. Nonetheless, it is hard to imagine dirt going into these early-eighteenth-century ceramic vessels.  When these objects were made, Europe was in the midst of porcelain mania. Europeans in Italy, France, Germany, England and elsewhere were collecting...
Lush Color and Texture Bring Life to Geometric Form
Folded into an open rhombus, and richly adorned with pigment, this brooch boldly uses color (achieved with the application of cobalt blue pigment) and texture (achieved by stippling the gold) to enhance its form. One look at this brooch by Giampaolo Babetto provides evidence of the mastery of gold present in his work. Babetto’s pieces cleverly...
A Strong Wallpaper Indeed
I thought it was about time to write about something other than a regular wallpaper. Wallpapers seem to get all the glory but there are other papers that pull their weight as well, like dado papers. Dado papers were used below the chair rail in rooms that lacked wood wainscots and were popular from the...
A Triumphal, If Only Temporary, Arch
The short-lived Dewey Arch lives on in this commemorative textile by Hamilton Print Works. The triumphal arch was erected in Madison Square in Manhattan and stood from 1899 to 1900. Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, it was built for the parade honoring Admiral George Dewey (American, 1837–1917) for his 1898 victory in...
Travel in Style Without Clashing
Innovations in transportation and mobility were to become a common theme in wallpaper design. Similar images frequently appeared on bandboxes and hat boxes starting in the 1830’s. A sign of mobility themselves, these boxes were used for the safe transport and storage of men’s removable collars and hats. Early designs include historic hot air balloon...
Exploring a Decorative Bandbox
Bandboxes, a decorative yet practical item of an earlier time, were originally used as receptacles for holding men’s neckbands in the early 17th century. Although they continued to hold that purpose heading into the 19th century, women would soon adapt them to carry their personal items and accessories. Between the years 1820 and 1845, the...
Rocking and Scrolling
I have always loved these Rococo-style wallpaper designs with their large scale boldness, trompe l’oeil effects, and attention to detail. This paper is rather late in date for a Rococo wallpaper but it was a new design in 1901 as noted by the “Patented January 8, 1901” printed in the selvedge. The Rococo style was...
All That Flitters…
This wide architectural frieze shows contains scallop shells rendered in high relief, set within arches outlined with egg and dart moldings, between which are wreath-enclosed torches. Above this is a dentil molding. This is printed in numerous shades of gray, with larger fills of complementary colors of red and green. There are also elements printed...
High School Students Visit the Glass House
Cooper-Hewitt Youth Programs students were in for an exciting excursion when they ventured outside the city to nearby New Canaan, Connecticut. They visited Philip Johnson’s Glass House and received a two-hour tour of the extensive campus. The iconic architect designed his own private residence in 1949, adding experimental single-use structures throughout his property over the...