Clicky

Cooper Hewitt

Cooper Hewitt We are the nation's design museum! The Smithsonian may also archive materials posted on this website pursuant to its document retention policies.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum monitors and may remove posts inconsistent with the Smithsonian's terms of use. 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

We've shown you historic samplers so far in our Sunday Samplers series, but what about contemporary ones? Heidrun Schimm...
03/19/2023

We've shown you historic samplers so far in our Sunday Samplers series, but what about contemporary ones? Heidrun Schimmel (German, b. 1941) says that she has always been interested in the connection between fiber/fabric/textile and the human being. Schimmel describes her process as "very simple and lets the thread and fabric find the final form through the combination of control and chance." In this work, she divided up a black silk ground into nine sections within which she presents variations of her stitches, much like a historical sampler in which the embroiderer demonstrates her stitching skills. What's different here is Schimmel shows how, without using color thread, one can better discern the individual character of the stitches as they move along the surface. A nice modern twist on a practice that goes back hundreds of years.
_
Sampler; Designed by Heidrun Schimmel; 2015; Gift of Heidrun Schimmel

It's the weekend and it's very nearly officially Spring, so time to party! Oak Hill Party Case greeted shoppers in the m...
03/18/2023

It's the weekend and it's very nearly officially Spring, so time to party! Oak Hill Party Case greeted shoppers in the mid-1980s in its own transparent PVC tote with a red webbed strap, affirming a life of casual entertaining on the go 😎 Anyone remember owning one of these?
_
Party Case 88; Designed by Malcolm Foster

Happy St Patrick's Day folks! Here's some green from our collection 💚_Textile, Armour; Joseph Provato; ca. 1955Textile; ...
03/17/2023

Happy St Patrick's Day folks! Here's some green from our collection 💚
_
Textile, Armour; Joseph Provato; ca. 1955
Textile; early 20th century
Sample, Pepitas; Alexander Hayden Girard; 1952

03/16/2023
Dorothy Liebes Samples

Nothing more satisfying than sifting through Liebes samples! We’re preparing for our monographic exhibition on Dorothy Liebes, one of the most influential designers of the 20th century! Curators and conservators are checking samples of Liebes, lovingly kept in our collection, and selecting them based on display criteria, such as texture, color, material, and—of course—GLITTER ✨

“A Dark, A Light, A Bright: The Designs of Dorothy Liebes” opens July 7, more here: https://www.cooperhewitt.org/events/current-exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/

“[Textiles can] be electric in the way they can stimulate you – intellectually, emotionally, tactily. Becoming aware of ...
03/15/2023

“[Textiles can] be electric in the way they can stimulate you – intellectually, emotionally, tactily. Becoming aware of textiles as more than mundane necessities can add a whole new dimension to your daily life…This is why historians rank textiles, as illuminating instruments, alongside the written documents of a culture…Even in contemporary times…they are excellent indicators of the metabolic health of the technical and artistic aspects of a society.”

So said Elizabeth Gordon, a writer, editor, and collector, and we think she's dead right! What do you think?

Gordon gifted a significant collection of textiles to the museum in the 1960s, of which this object was an important piece. It's by Swedish designer Ann-Mari Forsberg, who made it from natural fibers using the ancient technique of tapestry weaving
_
Hanging: Red Crocus; Designed and woven by Ann-Mari Forsberg; ca. 1955

In the art of data graphics, text help turns lines, shapes, and colors into clear concepts. W. E. B. Du Bois and his tea...
03/14/2023
The Typography of W. E. B. Du Bois | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

In the art of data graphics, text help turns lines, shapes, and colors into clear concepts. W. E. B. Du Bois and his team had a few short months to research and produce their data posters that documented Black achievement since emancipation and called out racism. To present their findings at the 1900 Paris World's Fair they needed an efficient method for applying letters to each hand-rendered poster. Our curator emerita Ellen Lupton explores how these stunning graphics use text to communicate their messages, and showcases a contemporary digital typeface designed in 2020 by Tré Seals, one of a rising generation of Black designers challenging the White-centered canon of typography. Read the blog here: https://s.si.edu/boistype

The typography in Du Bois's data visualizations was composed of simple lines for efficient transcription and has inspired contemporary designers.

Final week for Design and Healing! On view through March 19, don't miss our exhibition focused on design's role in times...
03/13/2023

Final week for Design and Healing! On view through March 19, don't miss our exhibition focused on design's role in times of crisis. See how communities and individuals come together to aid each other, push for change, and create new spaces, objects, and services. Find out more here: https://s.si.edu/designheal

Recent attention has turned to women designers affiliated with the Art et Industrie movement of the 1980s. This Womens H...
03/13/2023

Recent attention has turned to women designers affiliated with the Art et Industrie movement of the 1980s. This Womens History Month we'd like to spotlight Michele Oka Doner—whose work continues to question boundaries between art, design and the environment.

In Doner's word, "The Oka Chair is a balancing act between expectation and realization, visual delight and physical comfort, an assemblaged of cast bronzes from various projects throughout the years. The outstanding visual element is an artist's palette that uses texture and shapes, the vocabulary of a sculpture, where a painter would most often display colors. It is a playful riff on a traditional symbol." The chair is an ode to art itself, with all the tools of the artist rendered in great, yet whimsical, detail. Sculpture of furniture? You decide.
_
Oka Chair Side Chair; Designed by Michele Oka Doner; 1989

A sampler with a plot twist! It's time for Sunday SamplersAs you can see, this sampler is dated 1823 in the top right co...
03/12/2023

A sampler with a plot twist! It's time for Sunday Samplers

As you can see, this sampler is dated 1823 in the top right corner. Samplers of this time are typically embroidered in silk on a linen ground, but a Cooper Hewitt curator thought something looked off about certain stitches. Having conservation expertise on hand, every single yarn in the sampler—something like 28 different colors—was analyzed using fiber microscopy. We discovered that the alphabets, the bird, the guy with the turban, are all embroidered in silk, as they should have been in 1823. Other parts, however, such as the Greek fret, the red flowers, and the 1823 date are done in mercerized cotton—something not commercially available until the end of the 19th century.

Mercerization, first invented by John Mercer in the mid-nineteenth century, is a process in which cotton fabric or cotton yarns are treated with alkali, which causes changes to the fiber's characteristics. They were marketed as a cheaper alternative to silk embroidery yarns.

We don’t know if the second round of embroidery was done in tribute by someone else in the family – completing their grandmother’s unfinished sampler, say—or if it was done as a deliberate deception.

A New York view by Mary Ellen Crisp 🤩Crisp took up embroidery in the 1920s after beginning her creative career as a seam...
03/11/2023

A New York view by Mary Ellen Crisp 🤩

Crisp took up embroidery in the 1920s after beginning her creative career as a seamstress and dress designer. She studied at the New York’s Art Students League and the Grand Central School of Art where she trained in modern art and experimented in embroidery.
_
Embroidered Picture; Designed by Mary Ellen Crisp; 1930–39

We are thrilled to announce our first entirely new collecting department in 125 years! Our new Digital department will c...
03/09/2023
Cooper Hewitt Announces Formal Establishment of the Digital Curatorial Department | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

We are thrilled to announce our first entirely new collecting department in 125 years! Our new Digital department will concentrate on born-digital design, i.e. work that originates and exists digitally—one of the most rapidly expanding realms of design practice. Currently, the museum holds nearly 70 file- and code-based digital works in its Digital department, including data visualizations, digital typefaces, web-based interactive works, icons and emojis, websites and more. Find out more here:

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum today announced the formal establishment of the Digital curatorial department, which will collect and care for born-digital work. This new collecting department will be led by Andrea Lipps, the founding head of digital, who will frame, build and manage the di...

Join us Saturday, March 11 for the return of in-person family programs! Aimed at ages 5–12, get creative with data to vi...
03/08/2023
Design with Data! Family Program | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Join us Saturday, March 11 for the return of in-person family programs! Aimed at ages 5–12, get creative with data to visualize fun facts about your daily life. Free with museum admission, under 18s enter free! Find out more here:

How can we visualize fun facts about our daily life? You will take part in polls about your everyday life and imagine creative ways to visualize the data we collect through design. Contribute to a community data wall using colorful, textured, and squishy materials. Leave with your own data design te...

Today is International Womens Day! In 1970, four Chicago-based women designers founded the Women’s Graphics Collective. ...
03/08/2023

Today is International Womens Day! In 1970, four Chicago-based women designers founded the Women’s Graphics Collective. Their mission was to form a creative group that brought together women designers and activists to produce art that advanced the goals of the women’s movement. Printmaking allowed the collective to distribute posters to large numbers of people at a low cost. By working with shared materials in one workshop with the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, the collective eliminated the exclusivity of art-making—the designers opened their doors to any women eager to collaborate regardless of formal art training.
_
Poster, Dia Internacional de la Mujer (International Women's Day), ca. 1980; Designed by Women's Graphics Collective

This textile design was used as the cover image for one of the most influential books in the history of American graphic...
03/07/2023

This textile design was used as the cover image for one of the most influential books in the history of American graphic design. Paul Rand's "Thoughts on Design", published in 1947, uses this design titled Abacus, created by Rand in 1946. The pattern is based on a photogram, made by exposing a wood-and-wire abacus to a sheet of photographic paper. The play between dark and light, foreground and background, transparency and opacity, endows this simple printed textile with movement and depth, while the pattern’s ordered columns gracefully follow the folds of the fabric.
_
Textile: Abacus; Designed by Paul Rand; Manufactured by L. Anton Maix, Inc.; 1946

Cocktail table with three surfaces means three times as many cocktails, right?? Designed by Greta Magnusson Grossman in ...
03/06/2023

Cocktail table with three surfaces means three times as many cocktails, right?? Designed by Greta Magnusson Grossman in 1952, this is a classic Scandinavian mid-century-modern design.

Lenore Tawney’s works have been called “altars of meditation” for their quiet spirituality. “Spring Thaw” is a fine exam...
03/03/2023

Lenore Tawney’s works have been called “altars of meditation” for their quiet spirituality. “Spring Thaw” is a fine example of the delicate and ethereal quality of her work—and perfect to highlight for this time of year!
_
Hanging: "Spring Thaw" by Lenore Tawney;

This small weaving is one of almost 1,000 works in an enduring project that began over 50 years ago. Sheila Hicks's Quar...
03/02/2023

This small weaving is one of almost 1,000 works in an enduring project that began over 50 years ago. Sheila Hicks's Quarry Spider is an artistic achievement in color, structure and technique. Measuring only 9 ¼” x 5 7/8”, it is one of almost 1,000 works included in her series Miniatures. She made it on a small loom constructed from painter’s stretcher bars, which made a practical and portable companion throughout her travels.
_
Textile, Quarry Spider; Designed by Sheila Hicks; 2003

Welcome to Women's History Month! We'll be highlighting just some of the many women designers in our collection, such as...
03/01/2023

Welcome to Women's History Month! We'll be highlighting just some of the many women designers in our collection, such as Eva Zeisel. Throughout her career, Zeisel employed cut paper in her design process. These cutouts, that could double as modern art, enabled her to refine and emphasize the curving silhouettes that are the hallmark of her work. Own a set of Eva Flatware for yourself, find them in our SHOP here: https://bit.ly/41qO8uG
_
Cutouts: Designs for Eva Flatware, 2012

American Lev Mills produced this poster in 1969 when he was a student in London. Though he was living abroad, Mills’ des...
02/28/2023

American Lev Mills produced this poster in 1969 when he was a student in London. Though he was living abroad, Mills’ design explores themes of the American civil rights and Black Power movements, creatively layering images that reflect Black American identity

A. Joel Robinson was the first Black American designer to be featured in The Museum Of Modern Art's influential Good Des...
02/27/2023

A. Joel Robinson was the first Black American designer to be featured in The Museum Of Modern Art's influential Good Design exhibition series. Glen Plaid, one of Robinson’s most successful designs, was introduced at the Chicago Merchandise Mart in 1951. Although the pattern gives the illusion of a woven fabric, it is actually a delicately printed design on sheer cotton.
_
Sample, Glen Plaid; Designed by A. Joel Robinson; 1951

Can you imagine living fully immersed in art nouveau style? France's most famous art nouveau architect, Hector Guimard, ...
02/24/2023
Hector Guimard: Art Nouveau to Modernism | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Can you imagine living fully immersed in art nouveau style? France's most famous art nouveau architect, Hector Guimard, built exactly that environment for his wife—a home they called Hôtel Guimard. See some of his designs for Hôtel Guimard in our exhibition "Hector Guimard: How Paris Got Its Curves", and read a detailed blog about the life and legacy of Guimard here: https://www.cooperhewitt.org/2023/02/09/hector-guimard-art-nouveau-to-modernism/
_
Photograph, Hôtel Guimard, Rue Mozart, Paris; ca. 1910

Delve into the life and legacy of one of France's most famous architects.

"The effort to give all men what they need, and to ask of each the best they can contribute, this is the only way of hum...
02/23/2023

"The effort to give all men what they need, and to ask of each the best they can contribute, this is the only way of human life." - W. E. B. Du Bois, born in 1868. Learn more about his life and work in "Deconstructing Power: W. E. B. Du Bois at the 1900 World's Fair: https://s.si.edu/webdubois
_
W. E. B. Du Bois, ca. 1919; photographed by C. M. Battey; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Data Visualization, “Land owned by Negroes in Georgia, U.S.A. 1870–1900”; 1900; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Today is George Washington's birthday. This wallpaper, showing Washington’s triumphal entry into Boston following the en...
02/22/2023

Today is George Washington's birthday. This wallpaper, showing Washington’s triumphal entry into Boston following the end of the American War of Independence, has an interesting story in and of itself. The background views are from an earlier scenic paper called Views of North America that highlights some of the country’s natural wonders and key tourist attractions, including New York Bay and Boston harbor. The original design containing tourists and dock workers was replaced with soldiers and battle scenes. Printed entirely from wood blocks on a hand painted ground it requires 2300 wood blocks to print the full set and contains 360 different colors 🤯
_
Scenic wallpaper, Washington’s Triumphal Entry into Boston from Views of the American War of Independence; modern print of 1852 design

Austria meets Japan in this delicate design. Felice Rix-Ueno shows the influence of the several trips she made to Japan ...
02/21/2023

Austria meets Japan in this delicate design. Felice Rix-Ueno shows the influence of the several trips she made to Japan before relocating to Kyoto with her husband, Japanese architect Isaburo Ueno. She designed textiles, wallcoverings, ceramics, and cloisonné for the Wiener Werkstätte from before World War I until 1930.
_
Textile, Anemone; Designed by Felice Rix-Ueno; 1927

Hey undergrads! Join Cooper Hewitt this June to gain professional skills, learn museum practices, and develop your caree...
02/21/2023
Peter A. Krueger Internships | Summer 2023 | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Hey undergrads! Join Cooper Hewitt this June to gain professional skills, learn museum practices, and develop your career, with a stipend of $5,000. Application deadline: February 28.

PETER A. KRUEGER SUMMER INTERNSHIPS All Peter A. Krueger Internships will be hybrid in 2023. Interns will be required to work onsite at Cooper Hewitt located in New York City a minimum of three (3) days a week. Internship dates: June 12, 2023 - August 18, 2023 (10 weeks, 35 hours/week) Stipend: $5,0...

Happy Presidents Day folks! This textile was made for the American Bicentennial and features covers of Liberty Magazine ...
02/20/2023

Happy Presidents Day folks! This textile was made for the American Bicentennial and features covers of Liberty Magazine with depictions of Washington and Lincoln. We're open as usual today, plan your visit here: https://s.si.edu/visit
_
Textile; Manufactured by Riverdale Fabrics; 1976

02/19/2023
Sampler conservation

How do we care for samplers? Some of you have asked during our Sunday Samplers series how we care for, store, and preserve the many samplers we have in the collection. Our wonderful textile conservator Janet Lee will show you how we do it, with an interesting sampler that has an unusual feature!

Sheila Bridges harnesses the magic and innocence of childhood nostalgia to create a powerful wall design called Hopscotc...
02/18/2023

Sheila Bridges harnesses the magic and innocence of childhood nostalgia to create a powerful wall design called Hopscotch. Projecting the ideal of a race-blind world, each hopscotch square features a vignette of two young girls, one Black and one white, engaged in an outdoor game or activity that children have been playing for generations, such as hide-and-seek, jump rope, and hula hoops.
_
Sidewall, Hopscotch; Designed by Sheila Bridges; 2011

Who else loves art nouveau typography? In the fall of 1899, Hector Guimard designed the cover of a new journal of art cr...
02/17/2023

Who else loves art nouveau typography? In the fall of 1899, Hector Guimard designed the cover of a new journal of art criticism called R***e d’Art. He used his signature undulating line and original letterforms to create a dynamic composition.

On display in "Hector Guimard: How Paris Got Its Curves" https://s.si.edu/guimard
_
R***e d’Art Magazine, No. 4 November 25, 1899; Designed by Hector Guimard; Published by Ernest Flammarion

02/16/2023
Deconstructing Power part 3

"How shall we answer these slanders?" These are the resonant words of Thomas J. Calloway, one of the organizers of the American Negro Exhibition at the 1900 Paris World's Fair, when faced with racist stereotypes perpetuated by the press at home and abroad. Hear from curator Devon Zimmerman () how W. E. B. Du Bois created data visualizations to provide that answer.

"Deconstructing Power: W. E. B. Du Bois at the 1900 World's Fair" is on view now. Reserve tickets online for a discount: https://s.si.edu/webdubois

Happy Valentine's from 1810!_Greeting Card, To My Valentine; ca. 1810
02/14/2023

Happy Valentine's from 1810!
_
Greeting Card, To My Valentine; ca. 1810

Celebrate your gal pals, it's Galentine's Day!_Print, Gazette du Bon Ton; 1913
02/13/2023

Celebrate your gal pals, it's Galentine's Day!

_
Print, Gazette du Bon Ton; 1913

The NAACP was founded on this day in 1909 by, among others, the legendary sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois. For your Sunday ...
02/12/2023
How W.E.B. Du Bois Disrupted America’s Dominance at the World’s Fair

The NAACP was founded on this day in 1909 by, among others, the legendary sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois. For your Sunday read, check out this article in Smithsonian Magazine about Du Bois's pioneering data visualizations and the context in which they were created. Many of them have not been seen in public since 1901, until now! You can currently see dozens of them on display in "Deconstructing Power" at Cooper Hewitt.

With bar graphs and pie charts, the sociologist and his Atlanta students demonstrated Black excellence in the face of widespread discrimination

Bacteria produced color? Count us in!We're celebrating Women In Science Day with a look at Natsai Audrey Chieza’s merger...
02/11/2023

Bacteria produced color? Count us in!

We're celebrating Women In Science Day with a look at Natsai Audrey Chieza’s merger of biotechnology and design. Knowing that textile dyeing processes are infamously water intensive and polluting, Chieza developed methods to dye textiles with pigment-producing microbes. Her method requires far less water and looks to microorganisms rather than synthetic coloring agents.

To color this dust coat, it was bathed in a bacterial solution for about seven days in laboratory conditions. The color palette ranges from red to purple to blue, controlled through variables like time and acidity. Chieza’s work exemplifies the forward-looking quality of biofabrication and its potential applications.
_
Project Coelicolor: Assemblage 002; Designed by Natsai Audrey Chieza; Firm: Faber Futures (), founded 2017; �Collaborator: John M Ward

Address

2 91st Street
New York, NY
10128

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 6pm
Tuesday 10am - 6pm
Wednesday 10am - 6pm
Thursday 10am - 6pm
Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday 10am - 6pm

Telephone

+12128498400

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Cooper Hewitt posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Cooper Hewitt:

Videos

Category


Other Museums in New York

Show All
x

Other Museums in New York (show all)

Parsons HDCS The Jewish Museum Travel Program Institute for the Study of the Ancient World Curious Minds Tours Allegories and Experiences Treasure Hunt Adventures Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Harry Potter at the Met Access at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Barbara Tamerin Fine Arts Széchenyi István Társaság Bard Ctr for Decorative Arts andytosty tours Yoshii Gallery Treasures in the Trash