Cooper Hewitt Library

Image features the decorative title page of Volume 1 and colored engraving of man's costume featuring a waistcoat. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Keeping a Watch on Waistcoats
Marie Antoinette and her entourage of costumers were obsessed with discovering the latest fashion trends in clothing, accessories and hairstyles. Despite the predominance and popularity of French fashion trends in the eighteenth century, the scarcity of printed fashion news and illustrations led to the publications of the first fashion plates in early British magazines for...
Image features page showing Cinderella in the garden picking onions and gathering beeswax from the beehives. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this illustration.
Cinderella Goes Batik
At the Cooper Hewitt Museum the study and teaching of design includes learning about the materials and techniques used in designing objects, textiles, and works on paper. The Cooper Hewitt Museum Library collection supports research into the study of design with books that demonstrate and document techniques and materials, the “how to” and “with what”...
Image features an ivory colored book cover featuring a pink rose on a leafy stem within a gold rectangle in the center. The word LANCÔME in gold capital letters below the gold rectangle. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Scent of French Elegance
In 1935, visionary fragrance pioneers Armand Petitjean and Guillaume d’Ornano opened a luxury boutique, selling a small selection of perfumes and beauty products, manufactured just outside of Paris.  This French perfume company was called Lancôme, its name inspired by the ruins of the castle Le Château de Lancosme near the region of La Brenne in the...
This image features monkeys with sheet music, playing instruments and drinking wine. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Monkey Business, French Style
Monkeys have been a symbol in world cultures for thousands of years, representing qualities ranging from fertility, to evil, lust and wisdom. The negative image that the monkey had in Western culture gradually changed in the 17th century when monkeys were used as symbols to satirize human behavior in Flemish genre painting. This visual art...
Image features a roughly square book in the form of a bright red plastic portfolio with a T-shaped handle at the top. The cover is embellished with a large silver-toned letter Y with the word YLEM superimposed in red. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Maverick’s Futuristic Manifesto
Author: Evelyn Meynard Published in 1971, Ylem is a manifesto that contains a collection of designs and texts by the German industrial designer Luigi Colani, held in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Library .
Image features all six plates view of peep-show Winter Scene by Martin Engelbrecht. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Who Wouldn’t Want to Take a Peep?
Unlike the vast number of entertainment options available to the 21st-century consumer, those in the early 18th century looked to paper peep-shows for leisure entertainment. A peep-show can also be thought of as a set for a miniature theatre; a series of backdrops. German artist and publisher Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756) is credited with the creation...
Image features sepia-toned book cover showing furnished interior. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Dear Godwin
In 1877, commercial designer and architect Edward William Godwin collaborated with furniture manufacturer William Watt to produce this trade catalogue held in the Cooper Hewitt Library. Godwin was considered the most innovative designer of the Aesthetic Movement. A brief but pivotal moment in the history of the decorative arts, Aestheticism strove to bring art into...
Cooper Hewitt Short Stories: Sarah & Eleanor, Elizabeth & Lucy
In last month’s Short Story, Josephine Rodgers introduced us to the pastel masterpieces of Carroll Beckwith, as well as his friendship with the Hewitt sisters, through a drawing of a mysterious young woman. This month, Nilda Lopez, Library Technician at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library, illustrates another Hewitt friend, Elizabeth d’Hauteville Kean, through her donations...
Image features Illustrated map of Paris on the book jacket for "A shopping guide to Paris". Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Thérèse Bonney: How to shop with Finesse
“There is much more to shopping in the French capital than merely walking in in American fashion and making a purchase. Shopping in Paris is an art and must be approached with a certain finesse.”