A moody black-and-white photograph shows the exterior of a Southern-style mansion with tall white columns and a porch chair. On a splotch of bright orange, the title BABY DOLL appears in letters made of yellow dots. The author’s name appears at the bottom in all caps: TENNESSEE WILLIAMS.
Tennessee Williams and the Art of the Book Cover
Alvin Lustig and Elaine Lustig Cohen designed covers for many works by Tennessee Williams that employ type and image to build an emotional setting for the text.
A poster depicting a bluescale image of the head of a woman with a bouffant hairdo and an unrestrained shouting expression, as words advertising a theatrical production spiral from her mouth, contrasted against a bright yellow, solid background.
Black Theater: A Graphic Design Showcase
Graphic design serves a powerful role in establishing the visual identity of theatrical performance. Cooper Hewitt’s collection offers highlights of graphic design for the work of Black playwrights and composers. Narratives addressing riots and rage; exploring triumph, history, and oppression; or featuring funk, soul, and divas interact with typography, image, and space to tell a...
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...
Image features a central woman in brown-ish black and white clerical habit holding a book in her left hand and a cross on a chain in her right. Her headpiece is heart-shaped around her face, connected to an elaborate, rough-like neckpiece that extends over her shoulders. The dress has puffy sleeves with a full, floor-length skirt. Feathery patches of white paint fill the background around the figure. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Costuming Beyond Errors
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. Theoni V. Aldredge designed costumes for the stage and screen with a career spanning six decades. At the height of her career, thousands of her fashions graced Broadway stages.[1] Aldredge was driven. After graduating from the American...
Okay, Bye
Graphic designer and visual artist Geoff McFetridge created this striking poster in 2015 to advertise the play “Okay, Bye” performed by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. As with many of McFetridge’s designs, the poster uses bold colors and simple forms to communicate a visual riddle. Two pairs of black shoes distinguish the owners...
Cooper Hewitt Short Stories: Spotlight on Theater
In last month’s Short Story, Ringwood Historian Sue Shutte cleverly drew parallels between the collections of Ringwood Manor and Cooper Hewitt, giving insight to the Hewitt family’s personal style. In this month’s short story—or more of a collection spotlight—we look at more passions of Sarah and Eleanor and how they emanate through Cooper Hewitt’s collection:...
Lost Urban Theatres
Elizabeth Broman discusses Joseph Urban's theatre design. His murals for the Ziegfeld Theatre are now on view in The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.
To See and Be Seen
Between 1861 and 1875, French architect Charles Garnier designed the new Paris Opera House. With its heavily ornamented Second Empire Baroque style exterior and its sumptuous and ornate interiors, Garnier successfully designed a new cultural hub for the French social elite. However, Garnier’s design goes well beyond style. Garnier carried out careful and extensive studies...
An Art Nouveau Partnership in the Belle Époque
The Belle Époque was an explosion of optimism and cultural innovation and artistic endeavours. The Belle Époque, lasting from the 1870s up to WWI, was at its height in Paris during the 1890s and 1900s. It was a great time for art and theatre, and they converged to great success at the Theatre de la...