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Image features: Bright green synthetic silk quilt cover with a monochrome damask design of a large torch resting on a mountain that represents Yan'an, the northern Shaanxi province town where Mao Zedong and followers regrouped at the end of the Long March. To the right of the torch are two blossoms (possibly hibiscus). The torch motif alternates with mountains topped by the Yan'an pagoda radiating a halo of light. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Long March
In 1934, after seven years of civil war between China’s Nationalist and Communist parties, the latter was nearing defeat. Nationalist forces had repeatedly encircled Communist headquarters, and the recently elected Mao Zedong had been removed from his position as chairman. Under new leadership, the waning Communist army broke through its enemy’s fortifications in secret. Thus...
Image features short pitcher of unglazed clay in tones of tan to brown, the thin-walled body rippled and folded into an irregular form with short spout at one side, tab-like handle at opposite side. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Unorthodox Pitcher
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. In George E. Ohr‘s studio in Biloxi, Mississippi, a sign announced, “Greatest art potter on earth.”[1] Ohr’s talent matched his moniker—today, he is recognized as a pioneer of American...
Image features one-piece table lamp consisting of a bulbous cap and tapering stem, its body made of alternating white and orange-brown vertically striped glass. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
And then There Was Light!
In celebration of our new exhibition The Senses: Design Beyond Vision, this Object of the Day post explores the multisensory experience of an object in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection. The invention of the incandescent light bulb in the nineteenth century not only advanced technology, but also design, especially into the twentieth century. This bulbous, blown...
A Warm Glow on a Cold Night
As I write this blog entry it is cold, and growing colder outside, and this lamp, which looks like it is covered with snow, caught my eye. On first sight it appears to be a snow globe, with the snow on the outside. This globular lamp, however, was designed in 1999 by noted Italian architect...
This is a table lamp. It was designed by Ruth Gerth and manufactured by Chase Brass & Copper Co.. It is dated 1931. Its medium is chrome-plated metal, plastic.
American Art Deco Goes Down the Tubes
Ruth Gerth’s 1931 “Glow Lamp” for Chase Brass and Copper Company is a gleaming example of American modernism with a bit of a dirty secret. The conical shade is topped by a globular finial and clips on to an incandescent bulb, nestled into its fitting atop a spherical base with a horizontal band running around...
In a doorway flanked by columns stands a man in heavy dress. Above doorway, a bust in relief. Notations visible in ink.
Mysterious Stranger
Does the artist behind this drawing simply intend to represent a doorway, or rather use this as an elaborate pretext in creating a portrait of a mysterious figure? Such a question will undoubtedly remain unanswered. Through a seemingly simple combination of architectural elements surrounding a male figure, Barberi conveys something distinctly atmospheric. With cloak thrown...
Light bulb-shaped clear glass globe enclosing clear glass light bulb with silvered top; cylindrical, chromed metal base in shape of socket with horzontal ridges.
A Bulb Within A Bulb
It is very comforting to come home in the evening and turn on a light. ideally, it is not a fluorescent hanging from the ceiling. something soft and gentle. something to welcome in the night. something with a dimmer switch to modulate the mood. i love light bulbs. they tell a very straightforward story. they...
Particles
Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi (of Face Visualizer fame) have unveiled a new project called Particles. Particles is a room-filling installation made of floating “light particles” that fly around and form glowing shapes. Visitors can choose a shape on a touchscreen panel and watch as hundreds of wirelessly controlled, glowing orbs create their selection in...
Optics and Aesthetics
  James Carpenter Design Associates opened their studio doors to Cooper-Hewitt Members on October 6. Members were captivated by the ‘show and tell’ of prismatic effects of transmitted and reflected light. JCDA seeks to bring light into our lives in a way we recognize, translating its abundance or rareness, and always its richness. Masters of...