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Image features a modernist wallpaper design with vases of stylized flowers against a white background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Modernist Wall Flowers
This is a fun, modernist wallpaper design most likely intended for a kitchen or breakfast nook. The high contrast colors, and the expanses of plain white background, give this design a very clean and fresh look. Three different bouquets of very stylized red flowers, each in a different vase on a shelf, is set against...
Silver and Gold
As the holidays draw near and decorations go up we begin to see the traditional hues of red and green, and their counterparts, silver and gold, appear around every corner. In accordance with this timing, it is appropriate to examine wallpapers that really exemplify this vein. Ceiling papers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth...
City Blocks
Alexander Girard produced over three hundred textile designs during his almost thirty-year tenure at Herman Miller, an important American furniture company and promoter of modern design. That Girard was trained as an architect should come as no surprise – like many architects of his generation, he had experienced firsthand the challenge of finding textiles appropriate...
On a High Note
I recently enjoyed a visit to American craftsman Wharton Esherick’s former studio and home, now operating as a museum, on the top of Valley Forge Mountain in Malvern, Pennsylvania.  Exteriors and interiors on the site are amusingly playful yet impressively clever and upon closer examination, carefully calculated. There is barely a straight line in the whole design. Instead...
Bawden’s Pastoral View
Edward Bawden was a watercolorist, book illustrator, mural painter, and designer. He was inspired to design his first wallpaper after viewing the Daisy pattern by William Morris in an exhibition in 1925. Bawden’s preferred method of printing was the linoleum block at which he became quite adept. Harold Curwen, of the Curwen Press, saw some...
A Hand-Made Feeling
Hans Krondahl is an important Swedish textile designer and fiber artist of the 1960s and 70s. Krondahl graduated from the National College of Art, Craft and Design in Stockholm in 1959. He opened his own studio in 1962, designing both large-scale tapestries for public environments as well as designs for industrially printed textiles. He was...
The GRiD Compass Laptop and the Space Shuttle
Having grown up with the “space race” as a national preoccupation for so many years – which provided not only a stage for scientific exploration but also for some the twentieth century’s most notable technological developments – I find it hard to believe that the Space Shuttle just completed its 130th and final mission. As...
Recent Acquisitions: Digital Typography
On Friday, Cooper-Hewitt opens “Recent Acquisitions: Digital Typography,” a new installation of five recently acquired graphic works that explore post-modernist trends in typography. On view will be examples of lively and expressive type fonts developed by designers as a counterpoint to modernism’s rigid and impersonal sans serif type. Below, curator Gail Davidson explains the typographical...
MIT’s CityCar and the Future of Uncertain
Over the next two weeks on the Cooper-Hewitt Design Blog, students from an interdisciplinary graduate-level course on the Triennial taught by the Triennial curatorial team blog their impressions and inspirations of the current exhibition,‘Why Design Now?’. Just what, exactly, is MIT’s CityCar? It is a car, yes, and a tiny one at that. It looks...