Cooper Hewitt Library

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.”  
Image features book cover showing a colorful flying bug on a fuchsia background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Colorful Pop-Ups!
Design comes in many forms and the elaborate paper constructions developed in the world of pop-up books still amaze and surprise children and adults alike. Combining both color and senses, the Cooper Hewitt Library houses several of these gems–most notably works by David A. Carter. A master paper engineer, he has created over 90 books,...
Image features The Tyrolian Singer , before and after pulling the pull tab mechanism. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Living Pictures
The Cooper Hewitt Design Library recently acquired another Lothar Meggandorfer (1847-1925) movable book for its pop-up and movable collection. He is known for his children’s book illustrations, but is best known as a movable book designer.
Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), Entomologist and Botanical Illustrator
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717) was a remarkable naturalist, famous for her expertise in entomology and the art and details of her scientific illustrations.  From a young age, Merian was taught how to draw and enthusiastically explored...