Image features a drawing of an altar in a neoclassical style, with architectural plan. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Surprise Victory for Robert Mylne
On September 23rd, 1758, an aspiring architect named Robert Mylne (1733 – 1811) wrote to his younger brother William (1734 – 1790) with astonishing news. At twenty-four years old, Robert had just become the first Briton awarded top prize in the Concorso Clementino, a famous architecture competition held every three years in Rome.[1] This drawing...
Image features a design drawing for a retail kiosk, consisting of a red platform with wheels supporting a black pyramid surmounted by a rectangle with a photograph of fashion designer Willi Smith in profile. A rectangular, black and white banner, proclaiming “WilliWear/WilliSmith” is on a pole at the top. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Radical Retail
In celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, June Object of the Week posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection.  In 1987, artist and designer Dan Friedman was commissioned by his friends and collaborators Willi Smith and Laurie Mallet to design the interior of a new Paris retail store for their clothing brand WilliWear. In...
Image features a drawing showing a view looking up into a circular coffered cupola, sculpted with flowers. An entablature consisting of three windows separated by pillars supports the interior ceiling. A lantern tops the cupola. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Dome and Cupola that Were Not There
This blog post was originally published on  November 30, 2012. This perspective tour de force dazzles the eye with the complexities of its illusionistic architecture. The story behind the work is equally compelling. When the magnificent Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola was constructed in Rome during the late 16th-century Counter Reformation, the newly founded Jesuit order...
Image features a wallpaper illustrating the tale of a Thousand and One Nights. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
These Walls are Telling Stories
This is an exquisitely printed wallpaper illustrating the Thousand and One Nights tale. The story is told through a series of five frames or portals, each of which alternates with a smaller frame which remains constant. Each of the scenes is printed in brilliant colors with an ombre sky that shades from orange to blue....
Image shows a wallpaper with postcard views of equestrian scenes. Please scroll down for further information on this object.
Cowboys in Postcard Views
The framework of this wallpaper illustrates a format of “postcard” views popularized during the second half of the 19th century. This design format was available in a wide variety of tile and ashlar block styles, from rustic to more sophisticated. The paper contains four different views, each showing a different equestrian scene, all set in...
Image features illustration of Bauhaus-style urban buildings. Buildings rendered in black and white, against a blue background. An open balcony is colored red and yellow. Poster features text advertising the exhibition Bygge og Bolig Udstilling (Exhibition of Buildings and Homes) at the Forum. Lettering in black and white. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Breakout Beginning
IB Andersen (Danish, 1907-1969) was barely out of school when he designed this poster to promote the 1929 exhibition of Buildings and Homes in Copenhagen, Denmark. The exhibition was a significant one, as it featured a built model of the “House of the Future,” as designed by Arne Jacobsen (Danish, 1902-71) and Flemming Lassen (Danish,...
Image features tow black and white photographs of expositions at the Grand Palais. On the left: hot air balloons and early airplanes. On the right, lighting and airplanes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
I Wish I Had Been There!!
This post was originally published on April 1, 2013. Between 1909 and 1948, the Grand Palais near the Champs-Elysées in Paris featured  remarkable decorative interiors which housed automotive, aeronautical and many other types of trade shows. For the buildings and other structures of the Paris Colonial Exposition of 1931, decorative lighting helped create a unity...
Image features four horizontal rows of people and trains, rendered in black ink on paper
Spot the Difference: Steinberg Edition
Born in Romania in 1914, Saul Steinberg once described himself as “a writer who draws.”[1] Steinberg fled Europe in 1941, settling in New York City by 1942. While living in the United States, he traveled widely and observed the world around him in a highly whimsical style with an eye toward criticism and satire. Steinberg’s...
Image features rectangular ceramic form showing landscape in relief featuring trees, winding river, and two ravens or rooks. Rook with outstretched wings at center top of plaque, the other perched at bottom, below the Rookwood logo. In various colored mat glazes: dark and light greens, brown, tan, pale sea-green, fuchsia and black. Border and sides in a pale sea-green. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Two Rooks
From the archives, an Object of the Day blog post on Rockwood Pottery, one of the manufacturers featured in the exhibition Passion for the Exotic: Japonism.