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Simple Materials and a Prickly Texture Raise the Question, “What is it”?
This “pin” brooch, made in 1992 by jeweler Beppe Kessler, was part of a larger collection of “pin” brooches, each piece one of a kind. The series itself was derived from an installation by Kessler, also in 1992, which involved hanging large rounded, pin cushions on a wall. The brooches are an outgrowth of this...
The Universality of the Immigrant Experience
This brooch from Esther Knobel’s Immigrant series expresses the artist’s playful side. The brooch features colorful figures, a circus performer and an ancient emperor, both cut from tin boxes of Chinese tea that Knobel found in an old shop on Jaffe Street in Jerusalem. The figures themselves serve as a metaphor for an immigrant, arriving...
Clothespins Collage
“Sharp, brilliant colors skillfully combined or used with neutral tones provide excitement in an extensive collection of textiles introduced by Herman Miller Company…” describes the New York Times writer Betty Pipes of Alexander Girard’s debut textile collection in 1952.[1] Girard was a European trained architect who came to prominence in Detroit, where he established an...
Bold Stripes
A series of wool fabrics in saturated, oversized plaid is Designtex’s most recent collaboration with Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell of the British textile studio Wallace Sewell (already represented in Cooper Hewitt’s collection with a blanket). The large-repeat stripes and grids are inspired in part by Bauhaus textile artist Anni Albers and in part by...
Picasso’s Fish
In 1953, Dan Fuller, president of Fuller Fabrics, invited five of the 20th century’s most distinguished artists: Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, and Raoul Dufy, to collaborate on a line of textiles to be called the Modern Master Series. The concept was unique in that the artists were not commissioned to produce...
Ancient Attraction
Louis Comfort Tiffany’s earliest experiments in glass began in 1873. By about 1916 when this Cypriote vase was made, Tiffany was presiding over a large factory in Corona, New York where his staff continually worked to perfect new glass formulas, shapes, enamels, and glazes. Tiffany admired ancient glass and the forms, colors, and surface effects...
Dining with the Fishes
It isn’t every day that you can admire a piece in a museum and then use it to eat your dinner later that night. But the artist of this dinnerware set, Eddie Dominguez, strives for both artistry and functionality in his pieces. While these pieces look like a tromp l’oeil painting or a sculptural installation...
The Clay Prophet: Ceramics from Wonderland
You might have to travel through the looking glass to find the Mad Hatter, but in the late nineteenth century, you’d only have to travel to Biloxi, Mississippi to find the self-titled “Mad Potter.” Just don’t try to use one of ceramicist George E. Ohr’s  bowls, like the one seen here, at your un-birthday party. Ohr’s pottery...
The People’s Vase
This vase was designed and made by Hilda Jesser. Jesser attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) in Vienna from 1914 until 1917 where she took classes with members of the Wiener Werkstätte whom she designed for from 1916 to 1921. During her time as a student at the Kunstgewerbeschule she primarily focused on fashion...