Architecture

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Image features: Dress-weight plain weave cotton fabric printed in blue on a white ground. The overall pattern layout is an even horizontal stripe. In each band a suburban street is depicted, with houses in three different styles of architecture, one very modern. The pattern appears in positive (blue on white) and negative (white on blue) to form the stripe effect. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Suburban Living
This charming cotton dress fabric was anonymously donated and remains anonymous itself, as there are no designer or manufacturer markings in the selvedges. It was probably intended for the home-sewing market, for which many so-called “conversational” prints were produced and made into women’s full, gathered shirts or men’s casual shirts. This piece satirizes the postwar...
Image features an aerial perspective of a of the Palace of Versailles and a rectangular housing at the upper left, adjacent to the Palace Grounds. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Monumentality in Social Housing
Ricardo Bofill’s architectural design, Aerial Perspective of the Lake, the Arcades, the Viaduct, and the Temple Housing Complex for St. Quentin-en-Yvelines (1981) displays the architect’s concept sketch for a monumental housing project to be constructed in the outskirts of Paris.[1] While the idea of constructing mass social housing in suburban Paris dates back to the...
The Architecture of Deafness: On the Subversive and Dignified Architecture of the Deaf School
Written by Jeffrey Mansfield Set in picturesque Casco Bay in southeastern Maine, Mackworth Island is a peculiar knob of land. It is a place I have known since I was a child: to the Deaf community it is known for The Governor Baxter School for the Deaf, to the locals for its hiking trails and...
This image features one of the designs for the palanquin requested by a Pencil Points editor for his soon-to-be-removed wisdom tooth. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Pencil Points Design
Design is for public consumption. Its process is collaborative and frequently involves many iterations of an idea before the best solution is found. This is why contests in design come about so naturally. Design competitions date all the way back to 448 BCE when the city of Athens decided to construct a war memorial on...
This image features an Axonometric view of living room/bedroom with studio bed and built-in cabinet in upper corner; a square table with retractable shelves and two arm chairs on either side of table; horizontal strip lighting hangs high on wall above cabinet and bed; and glass shelves for plants hang right of the bed; black and white rectangular carpet/linoleum beneath table and chairs. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Room of One’s Own
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Today’s blog post was written by Caitlin Condell and originally published September 30, 2015. German-born Margarethe (Grete) Fröhlich was a young artist when she moved to Frankfurt, Germany in 1929.  In the early 1920s Frankfurt had experienced a...
Renaissance Style from a Renaissance Man: An architectural staircase model
One of a group of staircase models, many of which are masterworks from a guild-like system of design instruction and apprenticeship called Compagnonnage, this model was part of a significant gift, the most significant outside of France, from Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw. The donors, who both recently died, Clare in June, 2017, and...
The Gates
Pumpkin-orange! Motion! These are just a few words that come to mind to describe this collage by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. This bright, dynamic work presents a plan and rendering of The Gates, a public art installation that filled the winding walking paths of New York’s Central Park with 7,503 rectangular structures draped with flame-colored...
Goats Living the High Life
I came across an image of this print room paper and became fascinated as I took a closer look at each of the framed landscape views. Each view contains a figure and a structure. And half the figures happen to be goats, living in these beautifully styled shelters. Just to confirm these were actually houses...
Centennial Souvenir
This souvenir handkerchief of Horticultural Hall at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia is unusual for its diagonal placement of the building in the center of the square. In the collection at the New York Historical Society there is a printed textile with six uncut handkerchiefs – there are views of the Art Gallery, Horticultural...