decorative

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1931-88-172-a,b
A Question About Two Turkeys
“Can you help us in identifying where our birds were made?”[1] This inquiry is one of numerous others regarding two fowl from a 1968 letter from Catherine Lynn Frangiamore, then an assistant in the Department of Decorative Arts (now Product Design and Decorative Arts) at Cooper Hewitt, to Lino Sandonnini, then director of the Museo...
1959-140-21
A Parable on Paper
Bonad or bonader is a type of folk art once produced in large amounts in southern Sweden in the regions of Dalarna and Småland. At first bonad were paintings on textiles meant to imitate tapestries and the wall hangings of the elite, but in the late 18th century they were produced increasingly as paintings on...
1992-39-1_28
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...
1983-88-19
Pottery and Progress
This tile features an image of the Hartt House on Hull Street in Boston, Massachusetts. The tile is part of a “Boston” set created at the Paul Revere Pottery that depicted old and famous buildings around the Boston area. The outlines of the buildings were incised in the clay when it was still soft and then...
1985-76-1
Gilded Goblet
This gilded goblet was made for a special dinner in honor of Andrew Carnegie given by the Engineers’ Club of New York on December 9, 1907. The name of the club and the date of the dinner can be seen along the edge of the goblet’s base. Carnegie had donated $450,000 for the organization’s new...
1975-32-14
Under the Sea
In July of 1913, Arthur Sanders, a gaffer at Tiffany Studios, was sent on a dream of a business trip. He traveled to Hamilton, Bermuda to study marine life through a glass-bottomed boat. Sanders observed the beauty of the underwater world so that he could later reproduce it in glass when back in Corona, New...
Fragment, 1873, designed by Christopher Dresser (English, 1834–1904), jacquard woven silk and wool
Design Reform
Christopher Dresser, a disciple of Owen Jones, was an early design reformer and is considered by some to be the first industrial designer. In addition to designing wallpapers, textiles, carpets, ceramics, and metalwork for a wide variety of European and American manufacturers, he published several influential books, including The Art of Decorative Design (1862), Principles...
Bourdalou
Not a Gravy Boat
At first glance, you might think this is a sauce bowl or pitcher used at the dinner table. However, it is something quite different all together, and would most definitely be an unwelcome addition to a table spread. The bourdalou, in fact, was a type of chamber pot that was specifically used by women up...
2006-9-1-a,b
Westward Ho!
In the mid-1820s, the development of press-molding radically changed the American glass industry, increasing output and bringing affordable decorative glasswares within the reach of a broader consumer market. In this new production process, workers placed gathers of molten glass in a machine press and applied pressure, forcing the glass into the contours of a mold....