New York City

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Image features a green, New York City street sign composed of a landscape-orientation rectangle with "W 125 St" in white letters. The "125" is largest, in the middle, and the other text is slightly smaller, on either side, and higher up. The material of the sign will reflect light, and appears in this image with a small diamond pattern, like a chain-link fence. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
We’re Walkin’ Here!
The first street signs in New York City, known as “direction boards,” were posted in 1793 and were largely used on horsecars.[1] They were intended to “rationalize the city’s built environment,” and have undergone many changes over the years. The recognizable rectangular shape of today’s signs, like this one in Cooper Hewitt’s collection, date to...
Image features a cuff bracelet of roughly circular form composed of two intertwined curved strands of silver containing a central irregular triangular panel. The silver surface has passages of dark patination. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Art in Metal: The Modernist Jewelry of Greenwich Village’s Art Smith
From the archives, an Object of the Day post on the jewelry of Art Smith, one of the designers featured in Jewelry of Ideas.
Image shows a print room-style wallpaper with framed views of Washington Square Park, New York City. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Picturing Washington Square Park
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Picture Gallery copies the format of a print room wallpaper. The trend for print rooms was said to have started in Paris during the 1720s, becoming fashionable in England by the 1750s. Print room walls were adorned...
Image features poster with hot pink background, an upcoming musical performance is announced. The singer’s name, Taana Gardner is written in curly red letters across the top, and a black and white portrait of the young singer gazes flirtatiously out at the viewer from within the frame of a red heart, out of which a devil’s tail emerges. She is also surrounded by red hearts of various sizes. Beneath her portrait, the title of her song, “Heartbeat” is printed in a bold, black, shattered typeface. The lower half of the poster provides information on the details of the upcoming show. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Pure Coquette
Although some may claim that disco died a messy media “death” in 1979, in the early ’80s, its “Heartbeat” could still be heard reverberating on radio airwaves and in dance clubs across the United States.[1] Fame first found Taana Gardner in 1978, when she became an overnight sensation after recording the vocals for West End...
Image features a length of fabric printed with scenes of New York City landmarks, in black on off-white. Scroll down to read the blog about this object.
A Big Apple Souvenir
Author: Leigh Wishner In celebration of the third 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...
Image features a drawing of Inspiration Point, Riverside Drive with cars and pedestrians. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Moments of Inspiration
At the turn of the twentieth century, architectural projects throughout New York City were designed to prescribe how citizens interacted with nature. Study for Inspiration Point, Riverside Drive, New York City is a conceptual plan by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822—1903) and architect Arnold William Brunner (1857—1925) for the development of a park and recreation...
Photo of Walei Subray. He is seated, and holds a microphone in one hand and a cane in the other. He has a thoughtful expression.
Design and Agency: When Design Fails the Disability Community
Written by Walei Subray Born in Egypt and raised in New York City, I’m a classic New Yorker. The only difference about me is that I drag a 58-inch black cane across the streets and sidewalks. That’s because I was born with a progressive eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa. As a child, I could see...
Image features a horizontal envelope with "The Public Theater" written vertically down the left side in black and red fonts. Please scroll down to read the blogpost about this object.
Everyone’s Public Theater
Paula Scher’s identity for New York’s Public Theater has become the ne plus ultra of graphic design. When it was created in 1994, no one had ever seen anything quite like it. With its bold red and black typography, the logo combined letters of different sizes, weights, and spacing, running vertically down the side of...
Inside Out and Upside Down
In the hot weeks of June 2008, patrons of New York restaurant Florent stuffed their pockets with matches, postcards and other ephemera emblematic of the 24-hour diner soon to close, “beloved in equal measure by celebrities on the A list and hedonists on the edge.” [1] The matches that were struck by both Calvin Klein...