Harlem

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Image features a green, New York City street sign composed of a landscape-orientation rectangle with "W 125 St" in white letters. The "125" is largest, in the middle, and the other text is slightly smaller, on either side, and higher up. The material of the sign will reflect light, and appears in this image with a small diamond pattern, like a chain-link fence. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
We’re Walkin’ Here!
The first street signs in New York City, known as “direction boards,” were posted in 1793 and were largely used on horsecars.[1] They were intended to “rationalize the city’s built environment,” and have undergone many changes over the years. The recognizable rectangular shape of today’s signs, like this one in Cooper Hewitt’s collection, date to...
Harlem Views
While Sheila Bridge’s Harlem Toile De Juoy was obviously modeled after a toile textile, hence the name, it also shares obvious characteristics with early wallpapers. The staggered placement of elements, the landscape views, the scenes from daily life, were common elements on wallpapers from the late eighteenth century onwards. Wallpaper landscapes were introduced by China...
Image of Poster, Freddy Johnson and His Harlemites, 1934 by Charles Delaunay
Harlem in the Jazz Age
Ryan Maloney, Directory of Education and Programming at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, connects the themes found in The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s with the musical culture in Harlem at the time.
Design Talks | Finding Patterns with David Adjaye
Recorded live on February 4, 2016 at Cooper Hewitt. David Adjaye OBE is an architect and designer known for combining the aesthetics of his African heritage with classic, modernist design. His studio, Adjaye Associates, has established projects on four continents, including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open...
Education Innovation Award
The Education team was excited to take a field trip to Washington DC to be part of the Smithsonian Education Innovation Awards. Although, we often travel for individual programs, this was one of those rare chances where the whole team got to travel together. After a short flight and a nice celebratory lunch, we headed...
Harlem Focus | MTA Harlem: Architecture, the Artist, and Decorative Design
Artist Shinique Smith has been commissioned by the MTA's Arts for Transit program to integrate her art-inspired design into architectural elements of the Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot. John Reddick will speak with Smith about how this project evolved, and how this public structure will incorporate contemporary innovations in building technology and art-related enhancement. The...
Harlem Focus | Architectural Photography: The Imaging of Design
Join distinguished photographer Albert Vecerka as he shares his insight and technical savvy in capturing the utility, spirit and beauty in architecture and designed objects. About the Harlem Focus series: John Reddick, architectural consultant and Harlem historian, will curate and lead a series of talks featuring designers, architects, and artists whose work engages and affects...
Harlem Focus | Inspired: Africa, WPA Art and a Unique Hospital Design
Join architect Jack Travis as he talks with John Reddick about his work on the Harlem Hospital's Mural Pavilion, exploring the juxtaposition between its historic inventory of WPA-era murals by African-American Artists, and the contemporary African-inspired color palette, pattern and philosophy. About the Harlem Focus series: John Reddick, architectural consultant and Harlem historian, will curate...
Harlem Focus | Public Monuments: Art in Collaboration with Landscape Design
  After winning a public competition, artists Algernon Miller and sculptor Gabriel Koren collaborated with landscape architect Mark Bunnell of Quenell Rothschild & Partners to design and execute the public circle and monument to African American abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass. Join Algernon Miller and Mark Bunnell as they discuss their collaboration and how landscape design...