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Image features a lamp with a three-tiered shade composed of three stacked glass circles of graduated sizes, all on a simple dark brown metal base consisting of a vertical rod on a circular foot. The lamp is topped by a circular dark metal screw-on cap. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A New Form for a New Technology
Danish architect and designer Poul Henningsen’s interest in light and lighting started at a young age when as a child in the 1900s, he observed the sharp glare from fixtures housing bare electric bulbs in his family home. Electric lighting was new, and older lighting devices, such as candlesticks or gas lamps, were being adapted...
Image features Mirror in large, carved and gilded vertical frame with double arch at top with pyramid of asymmetrical and tall curved leaf forms at each corner which flow into serpentine curves and then join straight sides; flowers entwined around straight sides; bottom rail duplicates curve at top rail and has asymmetrical group of foliage carved at center. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Reflections on Light
Mirrors, a commonplace fixture in the modern world, were not always the familiar accessory that they are today. Although some form of mirror has existed since ancient times, mirrors such as this 18th-century example used early industrial processes to create the fragile, metal-coated glass panes placed within a decorative frame. During the 18th century glass-making...
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...