Cooper Hewitt

Cooper Hewitt Located in New York City, Cooper Hewitt is the nation's only museum dedicated exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design.
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After a three-year renovation, the museum re-opened in December 2014 with exhibitions featuring a rich mix of historic and contemporary design objects from our permanent collection, unique temporary installations, and dynamic interactive experiences. We also have an exciting calendar of events, including hands-on workshops, talks, and family programs. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum monitors and may remove posts consistent with the Smithsonian's terms of use. The Smithsonian may also archive materials posted on this website pursuant to its document retention policies. By posting content, you are giving the Smithsonian and those authorized by the Smithsonian permission to use or modify it for any educational, promotional, or other standard museum purpose, in media of all kinds whether now known or later developed. Please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use: http://si.edu/termsofuse for more information.

Operating as usual

Launching today: an open call from the Interaction Lab! Six proposals will receive $10,000 for prototypes of interactive...
01/26/2021
Cooper Hewitt Interaction Lab Presents: Activating Smithsonian Open Access | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Launching today: an open call from the Interaction Lab!

Six proposals will receive $10,000 for prototypes of interactive tools using #SmithsonianOpenAccess collections, made up of over 3 million 2D and 3D objects available under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. What might we create together?

Learn more: https://www.cooperhewitt.org/activating-smithsonian-open-access/

The Interaction Lab is seeking proposals for creative tools and applications

What would you design to create a healthier world? Enter the 2021 National High School Design Competition with your most...
01/14/2021

What would you design to create a healthier world?

Enter the 2021 National High School Design Competition with your most creative, ambitious, and bold design ideas to address the challenge. #HSDesignCompetition

Learn more: https://www.cooperhewitt.org/designcompetition

Flipping to a new calendar page is undeniably therapeutic. The iconic Timor Perpetual Calendar echoes this movement in a...
01/01/2021
Times Are A-Changing

Flipping to a new calendar page is undeniably therapeutic. The iconic Timor Perpetual Calendar echoes this movement in a rhythmic design that can be used year-after-year.

Designed by Enzo Mari for Danese, the calendar’s sculptural form shows the clean, sleek lines of the 1960s pop period. The plastic material, simple sans-serif font, and elimination of ornamentation reinforces its timeless universality.

https://s.si.edu/3rMBDrx

Danese, the Milanese manufacturer of this calendar, often collaborated with the Italian designer Enzo Mari. Together they created a range of products—from domestic tools to office supplies. Their p…

Spontaneous vine-like forms curl upward, suspending this geometric kettle above heat for a long winter’s night.For much ...
12/22/2020
Kettle And Stand (England)

Spontaneous vine-like forms curl upward, suspending this geometric kettle above heat for a long winter’s night.

For much of his career as an industrial designer, Christopher Dresser believed that symmetry was the perfect expression of natural order. Visits to Japan led to a new appreciation of asymmetry. Rarely seen together, this Kettle and Stand combine undecorated forms with botanical expressions.

This object is currently on display in room 206 as part of Botanical Expressions. There are 2 other images of this object. This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions), and as such we offer a high-resolution image of it. See our image rights statement.

12/15/2020

Happy holidays from all of us at Cooper Hewitt!

During this challenging year, we are reminded of the power of design to strengthen communities, foster innovation, and spread cheer in even the most trying times. We are thankful to you for your continued support.

‘Tis the season for virtual holiday parties. ❄Following the first installment of our virtual wallpaper series, we’ve pul...
12/10/2020
Snazzy Backgrounds for Your Virtual Holiday Party

‘Tis the season for virtual holiday parties. ❄

Following the first installment of our virtual wallpaper series, we’ve pulled a snazzy, new selection from Cooper Hewitt’s vast collection of wallcoverings for you to use to spruce up your video conference background.

As a bonus, you can use these designs as backgrounds for your desktop or phone!

‘Tis the season for virtual holiday parties. ❄ Following the first installment of our virtual wallpaper series, 7 Funky Backgrounds For Your Next Virtual Happy Hour, we’ve pulled a new selection fr…

Cooper Hewitt depends on support from design minds like you! Design has never been more important to build a healthy, eq...
12/01/2020

Cooper Hewitt depends on support from design minds like you! Design has never been more important to build a healthy, equitable, and regenerative future. This #GivingTuesday, join us on our mission to educate, inspire, and empower people everywhere through design.

https://s.si.edu/3lmTe56

A concept sketch for the famed Philco Predicta television (1958–60), stands out for its red tuner that recalls the dashb...
11/22/2020
The Future of Television

A concept sketch for the famed Philco Predicta television (1958–60), stands out for its red tuner that recalls the dashboard of a 1950s automobile. According to the designer, Robert E. Doyle, he envisioned the television made of an injection molded tube housing, tuner, and base that was far ahead of the technology of the time.

Though Doyle’s dashboard-inspired concept never went into production, the 17-inch Philco Predicta Princess model, acquired in 2008, would be the first example of an American television to enter Cooper Hewitt’s collection.

This concept sketch for the famed Philco Predicta television (1958–60), an example of which is in the museum’s collection, stands out for its red tuner that recalls the dashboard of a 1950s automob…

In our newest Design at Home video, explore three traditional Indonesian textile techniques: Songket, Ikat, and Batik by...
11/17/2020
Design at Home: Batik Dyeing

In our newest Design at Home video, explore three traditional Indonesian textile techniques: Songket, Ikat, and Batik by looking at objects from Cooper Hewitt’s collection and recent exhibition “Contemporary Muslim Fashions.”

Then, learn how to design your own dyed textile, inspired by the Batik dyeing process.

Explore three traditional Indonesian textile techniques: Songket, Ikat, and Batik. Then, learn how to design your own dyed textile, inspired by the Batik dye...

11/13/2020

Looking for something to do this weekend? 27 years ago, Cooper Hewitt hosted a 27-stop walking tour of the Flatiron district’s architecture, led by architect Wayne Turett. This week, The Turett Collaborative dove into the past and followed the tour again. Explore the route virtually or on foot!

https://s.si.edu/36tIGvC

Designers communicate political ideas through media including posters, flyers, buttons, apparel, and historical document...
11/02/2020
Design & Democracy

Designers communicate political ideas through media including posters, flyers, buttons, apparel, and historical documentation. Our new Design & Democracy Learning Lab examines these objects to ask how design impacts voters.

#SmithsonianEdu #VoteHistory

This collection explores the ways in which design impacts voters. Designers communicate political ideas through media including posters, flyers, buttons,...

A ghostly skeleton in a shroud, with one arm upraised, holding a burning lamp, over a dusky, shadowy background…. Are yo...
10/31/2020
Spooky Pottery! | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

A ghostly skeleton in a shroud, with one arm upraised, holding a burning lamp, over a dusky, shadowy background…. Are you scared yet?💀 You need not be, for this ghoulish scene unfolds on this enchanting Rookwood Pottery jug, and not on your street.

The ovoid jug was made in 1891, decorated by artist Matthew Andrew Daly, who was one of the first full-time decorators hired by Rookwood. The spooky design is surprising, but by no means unique at Rookwood. Indeed, other artists decorated wares with fairy tale creatures (engulfed by a giant spider web), ghosts, spiders, and bats. It may be that the surroundings of the Rookwood Pottery facilities, on Mount Adams in Cincinnati, were conducive to horror stories. Whatever the source of inspiration, this jug is certain to create an impression and spring to mind on Halloween night, full moons, foggy evenings…. Did you hear something?

A ghostly skeleton in a shroud, with one arm upraised, holding a burning lamp, over a dusky, shadowy background…. Are you scared yet? You need not be, for this ghoulish scene unfolds on this enchanting Rookwood Pottery jug, and not on your street. The ovoid jug was made in 1891 and is part of the ...

Congratulations to Priya and Anika, winners of the 2020 National High School Design Competition! 🎉 Addressing the challe...
10/28/2020

Congratulations to Priya and Anika, winners of the 2020 National High School Design Competition! 🎉

Addressing the challenge to “use design to make the world more inclusive,” their platform, Storily, allows users to turn their family into storybook characters and insert them into riveting and educational picture books. #BelongingByDesign

Watch the presentations and learn more: www.cooperhewitt.org/designcompetition

Announcing the winners of the 2020 #NationalDesignAwards:CLIMATE ACTION Sponge ParkARCHITECTURE SnøhettaCOMMUNICATION DE...
10/02/2020

Announcing the winners of the 2020 #NationalDesignAwards:

CLIMATE ACTION
Sponge Park

ARCHITECTURE
Snøhetta

COMMUNICATION DESIGN
Scott Dadich

DIGITAL DESIGN
Design I/O

FASHION DESIGN
TELFAR

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
OJB Landscape Architecture

PRODUCT DESIGN
Catapult Design

EMERGING DESIGNER
Studio One Eighty Nine

DESIGN VISIONARY
Kickstarter

Learn more from the winners in free programs and activities throughout National Design Month!
https://www.cooperhewitt.org/NDA

The virtual #NationalDesignAwards gala is about to begin! Tune in: nationaldesignawards2020.orgEvery year, we honor desi...
10/01/2020

The virtual #NationalDesignAwards gala is about to begin! Tune in: nationaldesignawards2020.org

Every year, we honor design innovation and impact with awards that recognize the spectrum of design achievement. Be there as we announce this year’s winners for Climate Action, Architecture, Communications Design, Digital Design, Fashion Design, Landscape Architecture, Product Design, Emerging Designer, and Design Visionary.

10/01/2020

Tonight we are so excited to welcome Bobby Berk—interior design expert and host of Netflix’s Queer Eye—to host the first-ever virtual #NationalDesignAwards Gala.

No matter where you are, join the live conversation as we reveal the 2020 winners, and celebrate the power of design!

7:30 P.M. ET tonight, Thursday, October 1.
nationaldesignawards2020.org

Cooper Hewitt
10/01/2020

Cooper Hewitt

09/25/2020

The virtual National Design Awards Gala is only a week away!

Launched in 2000, the Awards are bestowed annually in recognition of design innovation and impact. Will you be there as this year’s winners are announced? Hosted by Bobby Berk, interior design expert and Emmy-nominated host of Netflix’s Queer Eye, the event is open for all to enjoy from home.

To register and learn more, visit www.cooperhewitt.org/virtualgala
#NationalDesignAwards

@smithsonianeducation invited Mary Ping, Derek Lam, and threeASFOUR, three previous National Design Award winners, to sh...
09/08/2020
My Smithsonian Closet: Exploring Research Strategies

@smithsonianeducation invited Mary Ping, Derek Lam, and threeASFOUR, three previous National Design Award winners, to share which Smithsonian objects they'd add to their closets.

Try this #SmithsonianEdu activity as a family and share what inspires you!

#MySmithsonianCloset

Explore designs to smile about 🙂 Save 25% through Monday at  Shop Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum with code LAB...
09/04/2020

Explore designs to smile about 🙂 Save 25% through Monday at Shop Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum with code LABORDAY25.

📸 Plastic Paper

09/01/2020

The National Design Awards is going virtual!

Celebrate the power of design and tune in to the virtual gala on October 1 for the first-ever live reveal of this year's winners, hosted by Bobby Berk

The gala will kick off the newly expanded National Design Month: an entire month of dynamic design programming, held online and free of charge.

To register and learn more, visit www.cooperhewitt.org/virtualgala
#NationalDesignAwards

With cabochon emeralds, roundels, and palmettes, this design, created ca. 1855 by Alexis Falize, is a magnificent exerci...
08/24/2020
Alexis Falize and the Eclectic Opulence of the Second Empire | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

With cabochon emeralds, roundels, and palmettes, this design, created ca. 1855 by Alexis Falize, is a magnificent exercise in the neo-grec (neo-Greek) style.

A gold roundel with a green cabochon emerald, flanked to the sides by elongated U-shapes with scrolling edges, which are in turn flanked by palmettes, sits on the top.

From it hang three loop-in-loop chains, which hold a cartouche enclosing another roundel of smaller size, a large, teardrop green emerald, and two golden vase-like beads.

Separating the larger roundel from the cartouche are three round pearls, and a fourth one hangs from the cartouche. Likely drawn to life size, the brooch displays the opulence of a period in which there was a vast increase in the size of brooches, almost paralleling the increased volume of the crinoline in contemporaneous fashion design.

With the ascension of Napoleon III in 1852, Second Empire France had a revival of court life. The stability of the new imperial regime and a buoyant economy brought exhibitions, grand balls, and stage productions to the forefront of Parisian lifestyle. An increased interest in the arts paved the way...

“Okay, Bye,” written by Joshua Conkel and directed by Margot Bordelon, tells the story of two former high school classma...
08/22/2020
Okay, Bye | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

“Okay, Bye,” written by Joshua Conkel and directed by Margot Bordelon, tells the story of two former high school classmates who unexpectedly meet again in their thirties at Alcoholics Anonymous.

While the two women did not have much in common as teenagers, their present lives are both on the verge of disaster, and their shared situations entangle them in a complicated friendship.

Designer Geoff McFetridge’s poster conveys the complexity of their relationship through this simple yet surreal design—the bizarre figuration presents a strong but unsettling connection, with the characters’ union at once signifying closeness as well as a claustrophobic embrace.

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 visu...

This extraordinary chalice takes its inspiration from dragon-stem goblets made by the legendary Venetian glassworkers in...
08/19/2020
Double Golden Dragons | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

This extraordinary chalice takes its inspiration from dragon-stem goblets made by the legendary Venetian glassworkers in the seventeenth century.

In this example, also made in Venice but in the late nineteenth century by Salviati & Company, the dragons have been elevated to the body of the cup.

This extraordinary chalice takes its inspiration from dragon-stem goblets made by the legendary Venetian glassworkers in the seventeenth century. In this example, also made in Venice but in the late nineteenth century by Salviati & Company, the dragons have been elevated to the body of the cup. Seve...

Cheryl R. Riley is a contemporary artist and furniture designer, whose work examines the stylistic and societal parallel...
08/17/2020
Cross-Cultural Ornamentation: A Pair of Side Tables | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Cheryl R. Riley is a contemporary artist and furniture designer, whose work examines the stylistic and societal parallels between distinct cultures.

Riley is inspired by African diasporic iconography and subject matter, and its connection to other international and historical modes of cultural expression.

Riley explains, “My work is typically a mash-up of world cultures with materials that are highly embellished and ornamented, which I attribute to my mother’s home being furnished with reproductions of European furniture, porcelain Asian accessories, and the gilded frames on Baroque and Renaissance paintings.”

This Tudor Coin Encrusted Table is one of a pair of side tables that were shown together in 1993 at Cooper Hewitt.

Cheryl R. Riley is a contemporary artist and furniture designer, whose work examines the stylistic and societal parallels between distinct cultures. Riley is inspired by African diasporic iconography and subject matter, and its connection to other international and historical modes of cultural expre...

Remember this design? Before our electronic devices stored our contacts, devices like this one allowed the user to type ...
08/14/2020
An Office Artifact | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Remember this design?

Before our electronic devices stored our contacts, devices like this one allowed the user to type or attach a person’s name and contact information on special notched cards made for the Rolodex system, so the information could be quickly and efficiently accessed.

The rolodex entered the office supply market in the early 1950s and was officially patented by the Zephyr American Corporation in 1956.

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, Rolodex produced over thirty-two variations of this filing system. This is just one of the many iterations of the basic rolodex form.

The Rolodex Company claimed that they sold 10 million rolodexes each year throughout the 1990s, highlighting just how ubiquitous these objects became throughout business offices.

As a portmanteau for “rolling” and “index,” the term “rolodex” has entered the English lexicon to mean a list of one’s business contacts. Though the term can be used broadly, it also refers to the brand name Rolodex—the company that made this swivel file. Devices such as these allowe...

This charming gothic interior was the private study in the Cottage Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia, of Alexandra Feodorov...
08/12/2020
Is there a Gothic Cottage in your Future? | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

This charming gothic interior was the private study in the Cottage Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia, of Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Nicholas I.

Born Frederica Louise Charlotte Wilhelmina of Prussia, Charlotte, as she was known, was promised in a political alliance to Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich in 1814. They married three years later and by 1825 the couple became Tsar and Tsarina of Russia.

While they reportedly enjoyed a happy marriage, the Tsarina was never comfortable in the formal interiors of the Peterhof Palace. She longed to “rest her eyes from all that gold.” In a gift to his wife, Nicholas commissioned architect Adam Menelaus to design (1826-29) a more intimate “bourgeois” cottage in the English gothic style (the architectural craze that spread over Europe in the early 19th century), where they could enjoy a more private life.

The house became their favorite spot to spend summers.

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. This charming gothic in...

Museum exhibitions might not be open near you, but the beginnings of “mini exhibits” exist all around you. Let’s discove...
08/11/2020
Mini Exhibit, Big Stories

Museum exhibitions might not be open near you, but the beginnings of “mini exhibits” exist all around you. Let’s discover them together.

Cooper Hewitt created the Mini Exhibit Learning Lab to remind you that everyone curates, from what you choose to wear to the favorite objects you display on a shelf.

By curating or selecting and organizing their collection objects, museums tell stories. The stories may challenge thinking, reveal new information, or create a sense of wonder.

Look around you—can you find some of these stories made through your own objects?

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2 E 91st St
New York, NY
10128

Public transit routes include the Lexington Avenue 4, 5, and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street Stations), and Fifth and Madison Avenue buses.

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About Us

Cooper Hewitt is America’s design museum. Inclusive, innovative and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, education programs, master’s program, publications and online resources inspire, educate and empower people through design. An integral part of the Smithsonian Institution—the world’s largest museum and research complex—Cooper Hewitt is located on New York City’s Museum Mile in the historic, landmark Carnegie Mansion. Steward of one of the world’s most diverse and comprehensive design collections—over 210,000 objects that range from an ancient Egyptian faience cup dating to about 1100 BCE to contemporary 3D-printed objects and digital code—Cooper Hewitt welcomes everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world. Cooper Hewitt knits digital into experiences to enhance ideas, extend reach beyond museum walls, and enable greater access, personalization, experimentation and connection. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum monitors and may remove posts consistent with the Smithsonian's terms of use. The Smithsonian may also archive materials posted on this website pursuant to its document retention policies. By posting content, you are giving the Smithsonian and those authorized by the Smithsonian permission to use or modify it for any educational, promotional, or other standard museum purpose, in media of all kinds whether now known or later developed. Please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use: http://si.edu/termsofuse for more information.