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Image features a blue and white tablecloth with a central section containing eight blue rectangles, each with a single stylized floral element in white. Four squares with the same isolated floral motif are at each corner with rectangles between containing a dense arrangement of geometrical and floral elements. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Stylized Florals
Josef Zotti (b. Italy, active Vienna, 1882–1953), Austrian architect and furniture designer, collaborated with Herrburger und Rhomberg, one of the largest textile companies in Vorarlberg, Austria. The partnership began after the completion of his studies and extended until the 1930s. The earliest works were woven fabrics, particularly tablecloths, decorated with graphic motifs that were characteristic...
Image features a pastel pink hand-held mixer with metal plate under a long handle; on/off switch and speed control at side and top of handle; white underside with two circular openings at front to receive two removable metal beaters. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Mixing Food and Matching Colors
In 1955 General Electric released a line of kitchen appliances available in what they called “mix-and-match colors.” From canary yellow dishwashers to cadet blue refrigerators, one could construct an entire kitchen with G.E.’s colorful products. A two-page spread in Better Homes and Gardens from 1956 explained how one could entirely modernize his or her kitchen...
A Complete Interior
This Object of the Day  celebrates one of many treasured objects given by Clare and Eugene V. Thaw to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.  It is published here in memory of Eugene V. Thaw. Click on this link to read more about the Thaws and their gifts to Cooper Hewitt.  The popularity of boldly-decorated faience must be...
Simpler Times
The issue of The New Yorker dated August 19, 1944 had a curiously wholesome cover. A farmer, holding a lamb, and his wife, armed with a bucket, were surrounded by farm animals and flowers. They were faceless and a bit flat, but expressive nonetheless, with the appearance of having been cut from bright calico cottons...
Vinyl for a Runner
Sandy Chilewich has popularized and boosted the reputation of extruded yarn manufacture, specifically in vinyl, which used to be reserved for more industrial applications. She took advantage of a fairly simple mechanical process involving relatively few steps to make much of the woven vinyl products that are part of her eponymous line. The extrusion process...
A Usonian Seat
This chair is believed to have come from the Robert D. Winn House in Kalamazoo, Michigan, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian homes— affordable housing designed for middle-class families. The architect used the adjective “usonian” to describe the unique character of the American landscape. Usonian furniture designs were simple and intended to be made on-site...
Harlequin Furniture
This cleverly designed library table conceals a nearly six-foot ladder, whose steps may be put up or taken down in mere seconds. It was built after designs published in 1793 by the London cabinet maker Thomas Sheraton, who in turn was inspired by a piece made by Robert Campbell for the private library of Prince...
Who Will Buy?
This paper features a delightful cast of characters. Various street salesmen, framed as if on postcards or playing cards, sell goods as varied as lavender, sassafras, and cod liver oil. In between them Neo-Rococo frames surround names of further goods such as “Tobacco”, “Sugar”, and “Tonic.” Though this paper is from the 1950s, one could...
Practical Sewing
Decorative embroidered samplers were made by daughters of the well-to-do for display in their homes, and were symbols of gentility as much as of skill. For daughters of the poor, instruction in needlework, while equally important, often had a more practical purpose: to prepare them for work as domestic servants. Going into service for a...