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A Cabinet Fit for a King
The theme of this Royal Jewel Cabinet from France, dated 1824-26, is no doubt indulgence in all forms – especially love and extravagance. Its rich iconography displays symbols of love and jewels, where antiquity is mixed with early-nineteenth century depictions of flowers.[1] The cabinet is constructed of porcelain plaques in a gilt-bronze armature. A golden...
View of a liviing room designed by Sue et Mare at Lord & Taylor. The round display consists of two padded arm chairs, a low coffee table with rounded legs, and a tall, paneled plinth on which stands a statue of a nude figure.
Beautiful Objects for General Consumption: The New York Department Store and Modern Design in the 1920s
In the 1920s, the New York department store was an early promoter and exhibitor of European modernism and a distiller of these new styles for the American consumer. Good Furniture magazine reported in 1928 that “Lord and Taylor has taken a very definite step forward toward the actual placing of modern furniture in American homes.”[1]...
Skyscrapers in the Jazz Age: A Tour with Curator Sarah Coffin
Join curator Sarah Coffin for a Facebook Live tour of The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.
Master of the Chair
Hans J. Wegner was a pioneer in modern Danish design in the 1950s and 1960s. Having designed more than 500 chairs throughout his career, with 100 of them being mass-produced, he has been affectionately known within the design world as the “Master of the Chair”.  His ingenious use of natural materials, in particular his admiration...
Utility and Marketing: A Matchsafe Made in Heaven
Cooper Hewitt holds a large number of matchsafes: small, metal boxes that emerged around 1830 to house recently invented friction matches. Vital for lighting lanterns, kitchen stoves and smoking accessories, people from all walks of life carried matchsafes, or vesta cases.  The air-tight containers kept matches dry and reduced the risk of spontaneous ignition, a...
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...
Living with Memphis
Ettore Sottsass Jr.’s iconic Carlton cabinet—sometimes referred to as a “sideboard” or “room divider”—is one the designer’s most recognizable works. Its anthropomorphic form is thought provoking and yet childishly simple. The Carlton cabinet’s playfulness is asserted in its mix of garish colors, patterns, and mass-market materials—plastic laminate and wood. When Sottsass designed this piece for...
Pattern Play
Alexander Girard was one of the most prolific interior architects of the twentieth century, one who expressed his enthusiasm for design through his vibrant use of color. Believing that modernism did not equate with the use of drab colors, he incorporated bright hues and bold geometric patterns into his designs. He developed an exciting fabric line for...
A Chair’s Nerves
A ubiquitous figure in design history, Josef Hoffmann had a career that spanned more than 50 years. The Austrian architect-designer created this chair for the dining room of the Purkersdorf Sanatorium, located just outside Vienna, and built between 1904 and 1906. Hoffmann designed both the sanatorium’s austere exterior and much of its interior. Hoffmann worked...