illustration

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Image features a charcoal and white gouache drawing showing an open market in a city square with canvas awnings strung over the stalls. A male figure is seated before an easel in the foreground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Hop Smith in Venice
Writer and illustrator Francis Hopkinson Smith did not publish his first work until he was almost 50 years old.  Trained as an engineer, he spent the first part of his career in construction and is credited with designing the foundation for the Statue of Liberty. He made charcoal drawings and watercolors throughout his life and...
Image feature two drawings on one page. In the upper left corner, an alligator sits in a coal bucket, facing towards the right. In the lower right, a little girl, seen from behind, reaches for the top shelf of a bookcase, rising on her toes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Little April Fool
The collection at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum includes nearly 500 drawings from the estate of illustrator Florence Choate. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1878, Choate studied at the Art Students League in New York where she was awarded scholarships in portrait and figure drawing.  There, she met fellow student Elizabeth A. Curtis, who...
Image features a young woman in a period gown descending a grand, curving staircase. Her left hand is resting on the bannister, and her right hand holds a cloak, dragging on the stairs. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Descending A Staircase
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. In a prolific career spanning six decades, Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871—1954) illustrated more than two dozen books and produced hundreds of illustrations for newspapers and magazines.  From 1901 until 1924, she worked under exclusive contract to Harper’s...
Image features the opening spread of William Morris's book, The Wood Beyond the World. The pages include an illustration of a willowy maiden stepping forward in a lush meadow and elaborate ornamentation. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Reclaiming & Enlivening the Book
William Morris’s The Wood Beyond the World (1894) relates the adventures of Golden Walter, a man who seeks to escape his mundane life and sets out on a sea voyage, eventually gaining control of the kingdom of Stark-Wall and the love of a beautiful maiden. The book was published by the Kelmscott Press, a private...
Image features the cover of book, The Gorey Alphabet. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Gorey Alphabet
In the spirit of Halloween, a fun and spooky object in our library collection is a copy of The Gorey Alphabet  by Edward Gorey.  Edward Gorey (1925-2000), American writer and artist, child prodigy and high achiever has nestled his way into the hearts of those fond of dark themes, Victorian and Edwardian settings, and pen-and-ink drawings. The...
Magazine covers, (L) no. 12, 1926. (R) No. 34, 1928.
Inspirations for Mad Men
I have always loved looking at old advertisements in magazines; many of the people that come and use the Cooper Hewitt Library come for that specific reason. Advertisements are designed to establish a connection between the person seeing it, and the product or idea the ad is selling. Typefaces, colors, styles of portraying an object-...
Image features a design for endpapers by Arthur Rackham. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Horrific Design
Arthur Rackham created this captivating endpapers design for Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination, published in London by George G. Harrap & Co. in 1935. The book brings Poe’s tales of horror and suspense—including such favorites as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Pit and the Pendulum”—together with the expressive...
Image features a woman standing next to a tree blooming with golden apples and a pond with a white swan. Holding a fruit in her hand, the woman is pictured from the side wearing a checked day dress, matching cape, and feather plumed hat. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Fashioning Desire
George Barbier’s Au Jardin des Hespérides (Garden of the Hesperides) appeared in 1913 in Gazette du Bon Ton. Translated as the “Journal for Good Taste,” it was intended for an elite readership concerned with high-society culture and entertainment, as well as the latest developments in fashion and beauty. The publication was led by the publishing...
Image features a half-length figure of a knight in armor. The drawing appeared as an illustration in "Le Morte D'Arthur" (The Death of Arthur). Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Defiant Knight
The publisher J.M. Dent was an admirer of William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, founded in 1889 and known for expensive, lavish publications featuring illustrations and decorations by artists such as Edward Burne-Jones printed from hand-cut woodblocks. Dent conceived the idea of producing books in the style of the Kelmscott Press but at a much lower cost,...