watercolor

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Image features a drawing of a night scene showing an idealized rocky landscape with falling snow. In the sky is the star of Bethlehem. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Night Visitors
Amahl and the Night Visitors was the original Hallmark Christmas movie. The one-act opera by Gian Carlo Menotti was the first opera composed for television in the United States. Commissioned by NBC, it was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1951 from a studio in Rockefeller Center. Sponsored by Hallmark, it was also the debut...
Image features a view of the Grand Canyon. Rock formations in the foreground and to the left are loosely sketched in pencil. The Colorado River appears as a white stripe winding through the center of the composition, between cliff faces painted with bright bands of blue, yellow, and rose washes. Dark clouds in the distance indicate an approaching storm. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Grand Scenery
This year, the Grand Canyon celebrates its 100th anniversary as a national park.  Cooper Hewitt is home to some of the earliest images of the Grand Canyon by Thomas Moran, an artist who accompanied Major John Wesley Powell’s 1873 expedition to survey areas along the Colorado River through Utah and Arizona. This expedition was not...
Image features a faun reclining in the grass, seen from behind. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Canticle of Pan
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and designs in the collection. In a 1916 profile published in Vanity Fair, Paul Thévenaz was described as a painter and a dancer. The article also identified the Swiss-born double threat as the cult leader of a movement called Rhythmician, an...
Image features a rendering of a draped female figure with fairy wings turned toward the right, holding an outstretched cord between her hands. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Beautiful Bills
With her butterfly wings, this artfully draped female figure would seem more at home decorating a theater than ornamenting U.S. currency.  Yet the designer, Walter Shirlaw, clearly labeled his drawing “Bank Note Design.” Shirlaw left school at the age of twelve and apprenticed himself to a bank note engraving company, believing that it would help...
Image features three artists at work in a large studio space.
Men at Work
  In the rear of a large atelier of the French Academy in Rome, three students (called pensionnaires) are at work. One, by the window, labors over a drawing; a second stands near a bas-relief, and a third, seated, bends over a work in progress. The remainder of the space is filled with studio equipment:...
Sweet Peas
Mrs. Henrietta Maria Benson Homer exhibited Sweet Peas at the Brooklyn Art Association in April 1876, asking the relatively modest sum of $20 for the work.[1] In the same show, her son—Winslow Homer—also exhibited work.  Henrietta had taught her son the basics of drawing and painting, and helped to spark his interest in watercolor.  After...
Image features a French Romanesque church, drawn in graphite, with touches of watercolor to indicate the colors of rooftops, trees, etc. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Legacy of Beauty
Stanford White’s architectural legacy of beauty and sophistication is celebrated throughout New York City. Inspired by European architecture, White was a founder of the City Beautiful movement that spread across the country at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1878, as a young artist, White had traveled throughout Normandy and Belgium by train in...
Image features a view of Storm King Mountain from across the Hudson River. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
From Nature
This drawing is signed “From Nature, by E. Whitefield” and depicts a view of Storm King Mountain from across the Hudson River on the base of Breakneck Ridge. Today it is possible to visit the same viewpoint where Edwin Whitefield sketched the composition and admired the beauty of the landscape. Edwin Whitefield was born in...
What’s in an Art Lesson?
This Object of the Day  celebrates one of many treasured objects given by Clare and Eugene V. Thaw to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.  It is republished here in memory of Eugene V. Thaw. Click on this link to read more about the Thaws and their gifts to Cooper Hewitt.    Heads down with pencils and brushes...