modernism

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Image features a poster depicting a triangle made up of colored blocks with a black circle at the top with atomic symbol; above: atoms for peace; lower margin: GENERAL DYNAMICS. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Looking Ahead in the Atomic Age
This blog post was originally published on August 4, 2014. The year is 1955, and Cold War tensions have begun to escalate. General Dynamics is a newly formed parent company overseeing eleven manufacturers, producing cutting edge technology for the defense of the United States. The company is capitalizing on the American policy of nuclear deterrence,...
Image features: Dress-weight plain weave cotton fabric printed in blue on a white ground. The overall pattern layout is an even horizontal stripe. In each band a suburban street is depicted, with houses in three different styles of architecture, one very modern. The pattern appears in positive (blue on white) and negative (white on blue) to form the stripe effect. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Suburban Living
This charming cotton dress fabric was anonymously donated and remains anonymous itself, as there are no designer or manufacturer markings in the selvedges. It was probably intended for the home-sewing market, for which many so-called “conversational” prints were produced and made into women’s full, gathered shirts or men’s casual shirts. This piece satirizes the postwar...
Image features tall vase with vertical rods of lattimo glass alternating with transparent glass containing irregular circular and oval polychromed murrine. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Glass Rods, Like Slices of Candy, Add Color and Depth
To celebrate the opening of Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (May 11, 2018-January 13, 2019), Object of the Day this month will feature colorful objects from the exhibition. This vase by Anzolo Fuga, was created using clear glass (cristallo) which was decorated with vertical rods of opaque white glass (lattimo) and multi-colored murrine. Murrine are colored...
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...
Image features an hourglass-shaped coffee maker of transparent glass with high neck and circular mouth molded with a narrow spout; tapered wood collar/hand grip at neck tied with leather thong with bead stop; small projecting dot as water level indicator in lower body, vertically aligned with spout. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Perfect Cup, Coffee Brewed to Perfection
This coffee maker was devised by chemist and inventor, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, for the Chemex® Corporation. It is made of heat-resistant non-porous borosilicate glass, and surrounded by a wood collar tied with a leather thong, that serves as an insulated handle with which to pour the hot beverage. The ingenious use of glass allows the...
Image features a low wooden stool consisting of a thick circular seat on three splayed, tapering legs, rectangular in section. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Musing on Materials
In a 1929 article for The Studio, Charlotte Perriand, the designer of this stool, wrote polemically about the advantages of using metal over wood, noting its utilitarian and aesthetic value. She said, “Metal plays the same part in furniture as cement has done in architecture. It is a Revolution.”[1] Her now-iconic B306 chaise longue made...
Image features a C-shaped bracelet with large oval crystal stone clasp. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The First Lady of Scandinavian Design
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. This cuff-like bracelet with large oval stone clasp was designed by Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe in 1968. It is made of silver and rutilated smoky quartz. The bracelet’s simple form is emblematic of Torun’s philosophy that jewelry should...
Belle Kogan: Designing a Place for Women in the Field of Industrial Design
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Today’s blog post was written by Andrea Osgood and originally published March 31, 2014. In the late 1920s, industrial design began to emerge as a viable field in the United States.  Because of the Great Depression, there...
Children Go Modern
From the time she arrived in the United States from Budapest in 1913, Ilonka Karasz was a force in New York City’s creative circles. Karasz’s oeuvre is diverse; over the course of her sixty-year career, she created furniture, textiles, silver, wallpapers, ceramics, and illustrations. Between 1925 and 1973, Karasz illustrated 186 covers for the New...