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Nature and the Embroidered World
In celebration of the fourth annual New York Textile Month, members of the Textile Society of America will author Object of the Day for the month of September. A non-profit professional organization of scholars, educators, and artists in the field of textiles, TSA provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of information about...
Image features a large armchair, the frame made of multiple curved, twisted, and joined Longhorn steer horns comprising a bow-shaped back and arms surrounding a rectangular seat upholstered in modern metalic-toned leather on curved horn supports and legs terminating in feet with small brass casters. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Wenzel Friedrich’s Longhorn Furniture
Trained as a cabinetmaker in his native Bohemia, Wenzel Friedrich immigrated to the United States in 1853, settling in San Antonio, Texas, and opening a revival-style furniture business. In 1880, he became more innovative, realizing the potential of the Texan stockyards’ abundant supply of Texas Longhorn cattle horns as a material for use in furniture...
Image of Dr. Max Liboiron looking directly at camera. She has shaved hair on the sides and the top of her hair is pulled back. Her grin is small, but joyful, and her eyes show a smile behind wireframe glasses.
Dr. Max Liboiron’s “BabyLegs”
Max Liboiron is a feminist environmental scientist, science and technology studies (STS) scholar, and activist. As an Assistant Professor in Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Liboiron directs Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), a feminist, anti-colonial laboratory that specializes in grassroots environmental monitoring of marine plastic pollution. Liboiron’s STS work focuses on how invisible...
Image features a decorative comb of triangular form, made of mottled, translucent brown tortoiseshell. The edges with intricate pierced scrollwork surrounding a solid section with a V-shape cut in the center; five long teeth at bottom, to fix the comb in the wearer's hair. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Tortoise in the Hair
A version of this post was originally published on September 22, 2015. Some combs are used to groom hair, others to embellish and hold it in place. This decorative lady’s hair comb dates from the nineteenth century. By the 1830s, the austere, classically inspired Empire or Regency fashions popular since about 1795 had been supplanted...
Image from a panel discussion at Cooper Hewitt. Three women sit on a stage, holding microphones.
Nature Salons: Materials of the Anthropocene
Designers Shahar Livne and Charlotte McCurdy in conversation with Caitlin Condell, Associate Curator and Head of Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design. Join us for a discussion exploring the ways in which designers consider the abundance of materials available to them in the 21st century. As the boundary between ‘synthetic’ and ‘natural’ materials becomes increasingly blurry,...
image from Cooper Hewitt triennial nature salon panel discussion with Curator Andrea Lipps
Nature Salons: Encouraging Growth
Talk on What role does biological growth play in 21st-century design?
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 festures porcelain etui in the form of a naturalistic asparagus tip with hinged lid at base. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Asparagus to Go
Trompe-l’oeil ceramics such as this porcelain étui modelled after an asparagus tip were all the rage in Europe and England during the 18th century. Etuis are small ornamental personal cases that were used to carry toiletry items or sewing tools, and would have been used primarily by women. Other examples of trompe-l’oeil ceramics included tureens...
Image features a square ceramic tile with the large image of a fly seen from above, rendered in back and green glazes on a white ground. Please scroll down to read the blog about this object.
Pretty Fly for a Tea Tile
Author: Victoria Jenssen I grew up with Carol Janeway’s animal-themed tiles in my parents’ home, but only since my parents’ death at the turn of this century did I start researching Janeway’s career. My family’s amusing tiles were leftovers from my father’s career of the post-war 1940s when he crafted Janeway-designed hardwood frames for her...