Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/exhibitions/35350945/

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

With more than 250,000 works, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has one of the most comprehensive collections of design objects in the United States. Through our collection, we explore the continuum of design historically up to the present day. We continue to expand the scope and quality of the collection through new acquisitions and, in the past three years, have made a priority of enhancing our twentieth-century and contemporary collection while complementing our holdings from earlier periods. The works in this gallery represent a small selection of the objects acquired, highlighting twentieth- and twenty-first-century additions to each of the four curatorial departments: Product Design and Decorative Arts; Textiles; Wallcoverings; and Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design. These diverse objects show the Museum’s commitment to workmanship and handcraft as well as industrial processes. In keeping with the ideals of the Museum’s founders, the Hewitt sisters, we continue to seek out works of enduring beauty and virtuosity while updating their vision with a new focus on design process and innovation in technology and materials.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18696887/

  • Designed by Gaetano Pesce
  • Manufactured by Zerodisegno
  • resin
  • Gift of Zerodisegno
  • interior
  • decoration
  • seating
  • brightly colored
  • irregular
  • playful
  • analogous color

Pesce’s playful chair embodies diversity within standardization. The liquid resin is poured and hardened into the furniture’s components, which later are assembled with pegs. Following simple guidelines, the maker pours pigmented resin into a mold to achieve a random quantity and mix of colors.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18643095/

  • Designed by Ilonka Karasz
  • Manufactured by Paye & Baker Manufacturing Company
  • silver-plated metal
  • Museum purchase from Decorative Arts Association Acquisition and General Acquisitions Endowment Funds
  • interior
  • decoration
  • container
  • home
  • pattern
  • art deco
  • line
  • form
  • angular
  • cone
  • zoning
  • vase

Karasz developed designs by beginning with a form and appending new elements. Here, a conical object is altered by the addition of four triangular planes forming a cross at the base. Karasz utilized these simple geometric components for a variety of objects characterized by planes and smooth surfaces.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18643097/

  • Designed by Ilonka Karasz
  • Manufactured by Paye & Baker Manufacturing Company
  • electro-plated nickel silver
  • Museum purchase from Decorative Arts Association Acquisition and General Acquisitions Endowment Funds
  • interior
  • decoration
  • container
  • tableware
  • concentric
  • triangles
  • geometric
  • sleek
  • cone
  • revolve

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18643099/

  • Designed by Ilonka Karasz
  • Manufactured by Paye & Baker Manufacturing Company
  • electro-plated nickel silver
  • Museum purchase from Decorative Arts Association Acquisition and General Acquisitions Endowment Funds
  • decoration
  • domestic
  • home
  • tableware
  • silver
  • art deco
  • geometric
  • cone
  • disk

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18698027/

  • block printed on painted ground
  • Gift of The Alpha Workshops, Inc.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18699323/

  • Manufactured by Vitra AG
  • sand-cast and enameled aluminum
  • The Linda and Irwin R. Berman Stool Collection
  • interior
  • decoration
  • home
  • water
  • seating
  • sculptural
  • biomorphic
  • fluid lines
  • chair

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18699371/

  • Designed by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann
  • machine-printed on paper
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisition Endowment Fund
  • floral
  • curved
  • art deco
  • vines
  • bunches

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18700467/

  • digitally enhanced fujiflex print, laminated and mounted on plexiglass
  • architects
  • architecture
  • perspective
  • study
  • preparatory
  • light
  • curves
  • stairs
  • clients
  • geometric
  • presentation drawing
  • shadows
  • angular
  • vortex
  • ramps
  • exaggerated
  • stark
  • skewed

Cohen’s design responds to an idiosyncratic triangular site. Each floor has a unique plan, with the whole unified by a vertically twisting atrium containing the circulation core (stairs and ramps), which allows light to fall through the building and highlight the complex warped geometric volumes.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18701049/

  • Manufactured by MIO
  • molded recycled paper
  • Gift of MIO
  • interior
  • domestic
  • home
  • wallcovering
  • sidewall
  • square
  • repetition
  • customization
  • geometric
  • relief
  • recycling
  • embossed
  • recycled
  • contemporary

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18701685/

  • laminated amendoim and imbuia, tubular metal
  • Gift of Evan Snyderman and Zesty Meyers of R 20th Century and museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment
  • furniture
  • seating
  • stools
  • chairs
  • wood
  • chair
  • minimal

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18702039/

  • lithograph on paper, lined
  • Gift of the Eric Kellenberger Collection, Switzerland and museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18704669/

  • cotton
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18704675/

  • Designed by Ilonka Karasz
  • graphite on tracing paper
  • study
  • preparatory
  • lighting
  • dining
  • designers
  • tableware
  • bowls
  • metalsmiths
  • minimalism
  • triangles
  • geometric
  • fabricator
  • mathematical
  • triangular
  • decorative arts historian
  • Bauhaus

Karasz’s “essay” on geometric form develops the triangle into a family of 18 tabletop objects. Although depicted as a series of flat planes, the objects were meant to be fabricated with conical bodies on X-shaped bases. The group includes vases, candlesticks, covered and uncovered bowls, sugar bowls, creamers, teapots, and coffeepots.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18704677/

  • Designed by Ilonka Karasz
  • graphite on tracing paper
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund
  • design
  • home
  • dining
  • metal
  • geometric
  • personal environment
  • raised
  • Bauhaus

This drawing documents Karasz’s exploration of early modern forms in her initial concepts for electroplated nickel silver tableware. An array of rounded and conical shapes, Karasz’s designs are likely inspired by the metalwork of Bauhaus designer Marianne Brandt. Her designs for teapots similarly incorporate ebony in the handle and lid.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18705339/

  • wool
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18705347/

  • Designed by Sheila Hicks
  • cotton, leather, silk, linen, wool
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund
  • landscape
  • abstraction

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18705349/

  • Designed by Sheila Hicks
  • cotton, handmade japanese rice paper
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund
  • art
  • organic
  • paper
  • recording
  • spidery
  • diaries

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18705675/

  • Designed by Herbert Matter
  • two-color gravure on white wove paper
  • graphic design
  • advertising
  • travel posters
  • promotion
  • texture
  • promotional poster
  • photomontage
  • Bauhaus
  • faces
  • travel agency
  • gloves
  • overlap
  • mittens

In this famous poster by Swiss master Matter, the size of the woman’s hand creates a shift in depth, pushing forward from her face. The gloved hand blocks half of her face, emphasizing her visible eye as a point of visual focus and emotional contact with the viewer.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18705937/

  • Designed by Sheila Hicks
  • cotton, wool, silk
  • Gift of Anonymous Donor

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18705947/

  • Designed by Sheila Hicks
  • synthetic fiber, silk, slate
  • Gift of Anonymous Donor

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18705951/

  • Designed by Sheila Hicks
  • synthetic fiber, color transfer paper
  • Gift of Anonymous Donor
  • art
  • paper
  • experimentation
  • ombre
  • iridescent
  • stitched
  • diaries

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18706395/

  • Designed by Paul T. Frankl
  • Manufactured by Frankl Galleries
  • lacquered wood, painted canvas, chromed metal
  • Gift of Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz
  • interior
  • streamlined
  • furniture
  • modernism
  • storage
  • offices
  • writing
  • muted colors

Frankl, the Austrian-born designer of this desk, wrote in 1930, "The horizontal line is expressive of the style of today." Frankl used strong horizontals here to evoke the sleekness of the fashionable streamlined style and to accent the geometry of the desk's construction. Blue-lacquered surfaces punctuated by red knobs enliven the desk's typical association with utility.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18706537/

  • machine-printed on ungrounded paper
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18706541/

  • machine printed on paper
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund
  • geometric

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18706543/

  • machine printed on paper
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18706599/

  • block-printed and machine printed on paper
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18706745/

  • bent chromium-plated tubular steel, fiber, rubber
  • Museum purchase through gift of Esme Usdan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund
  • interior
  • home
  • seating
  • minimalism
  • bands
  • tubular
  • chair

A functionalist, Herbst created this chair using tubular steel and sandows, bungee-like elastic cords, an early instance of adaptive reuse of industrial materials in design.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18706767/

  • Designed by George Nakashima
  • joined walnut, pandana cloth
  • Gift of Natalie Epstein
  • furniture
  • domestic interiors
  • asymmetry
  • storage
  • woven
  • cabinets
  • rectangular
  • wood
  • irregular
  • movable
  • console
  • notched feet
  • pandana cloth
  • walnut

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18707877/

  • cotton
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund
  • illusionistic
  • domestic interiors
  • op art
  • columns
  • black and white
  • curtain
  • spirals
  • diagonal lines
  • architectonic

Brown is best known for her bold geometric designs of the 1960s and 1970s, most created for Heal Fabrics, an important producer of avant-garde designs. Her distinctive style pioneered the fashion for architectural-scale patterns, including 3D and op-art effects.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18707915/

  • Designed by June Swindell
  • Manufactured by Salt.
  • horsehair, viscose
  • Gift of June Swindell, Salt UK Ltd.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18709977/

  • bent beechwood, woven caning
  • Museum purchase from the Members' Acquisitions Fund of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
  • furniture
  • seating
  • woven
  • chairs
  • curved
  • bent
  • movable
  • caning
  • chair

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18710261/

  • Designed by Michael Bierut
  • offset lithograph on white wove paper
  • Gift of Michael Bierut
  • architecture
  • illusionistic
  • light
  • communication
  • graphic design
  • advertising
  • dance
  • typography
  • promotional poster
  • event poster
  • text as image
  • overlap

While sketching concepts for the poster, Bierut saw that “light” and “years” are both five-letter words, so he decided to run the two words through each other. The layers of text have been digitally manipulated to resemble projected light.

Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18710395/

  • bent chrome-plated tubular steel, eisengarn (parafin treated cotton canvas)
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund