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Image features: Quilt cover for a single bed. Bright red ground is printed with dahlias that resemble the paper flowers that were awarded to workers. In the center is a yellow basket with tassels swinging and with three yellow-green mangoes. Behind the basket is the imperial ornamental pillar (huabiao) which is a symbol of political authority that stands in front of Tiananmen Gate. To the left is a drum, cymbals and a musical instrument called an erhu. Behind that motif is a building in which the mango possibly was exhibited. On the right is a bedroll and satchel with the Highest Directive sticking out. Colored balloons float above. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Gift Basket
This quilt cover features a tasseled basket containing three yellow-green mangoes that refer to the mangoes that Mao Zedong (1893-1976) gave to workers. As leader of China’s Communist Party, Mao received a basket of mangoes as a gift from the visiting Pakistani foreign minister in August 1968. Mao re-gifted the non-native delicacies to a group...
Image features button in the form of an open-topped wooden crate containing four pears in tones of yellow to pink, with two narrow green leaves interspersed among them. Pease scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Juicy Pears
In celebration of The Senses: Design Beyond Vision, this Object of the Day post takes a multisensory approach to an object in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection. Jelly candies in the form of fruit? Toys for children? Miniatures? This whimsical and colorful object is actually a button made of celluloid plastic. In an open-topped crate, a...
Image feature: Embroidered sampler with bands of alphabets and numerals, floral and geometric borders, and an inscription. At the bottom are two trees, one surrounded by birds, the other with birds flying away from it; the trees are identified as 'The Good Tree' and 'The Evil Tree'. The verse reads: Let Virtue be a Guide to Me When this you see Remember Me. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Massachusetts Sampler
Sally Follansbee’s 1787 sampler is part of a group of samplers from the towns of Newbury and Newburyport, Massachusetts. These works can be identified by a number of motifs that were reused and modified from the 1750s through the early 1800s. The stylized floral band on Sally’s piece appears on samplers by several Newbury and...
Fruits of all Stripes
From squash to cherries and peppers to pineapple, Marion Weeber’s button designs are as simple as they are charming.  Her evocative shapes, bright colors, and whimsical stripe patterns unify this disparate array of fruits and vegetables, drawn in graphite and painted with watercolor.  The buttons themselves were made of individually molded celluloid-a synthetic plastic.  Cooper...