Fashion for Hair – A creepiness I like

June 25, 2014

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library owns many types of pattern books for architecture, textiles, wall coverings, and ornament for use by designers. Among our more unusual “how to” pattern books and trade catalogs are two recently digitized hair jewelry pattern books – The jewellers’ book of patterns in hair work and Charles T. Menge’s price list of ornamental hair jewelry and device work.

Meet Cooper-Hewitt Library Intern Alana Jiwa

June 12, 2014

Earlier this year, the Cooper-Hewitt Library was awarded a Smithsonian CCPF 2014 (Collections Care and Preservation Fund) grant to continue the conservation work we started based on a CCPF funded condition survey of our Special Collections in 2010. This summer, Library intern Alana Jiwa is focusing on custom enclosures for our rare folio sized materials. She is measuring books, using a new custom made folio sized book measurer made by Don Stankavage more »

1964: Fountains, Fireworks, Fifty Years Ago – a World’s Fair

April 21, 2014

  The Cooper-Hewitt Library has a large collection of over 2,000 World’s fair catalogues and books. Many are the official guidebooks that visitors could purchase with descriptions of pavilions and that helped locate sights and other points of interest. As a teenager, my mother had loved the 1939 World’s fair, so that when it came to New York City again in 1964-65, she wanted to see another World’s fair and have us more »

White Bronze for the hereafter

April 4, 2014

This Catalogue of the Monumental Bronze Co. is one of the many examples of trade literature that the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library has in its collection; they are among the most valuable research resources for documenting the tastes and trends of culture, and the products being marketed and sold in a given time period. These are Victorian era zinc sculpture and ornaments for cemetery grave markers and “monuments”.  “White bronze” was an more »

Women’s History Month: An American in Paris, Thérèse Bonney

March 21, 2014

Born in upstate New York, Thérèse Bonney(1897-1978), was a photojournalist whose work reflected a wide variety of interests and subjects. She studied at the University of California at Berkeley and Radcliffe College in the 1910s. Bonney immigrated to France in 1919 where she became one of the first ten women to graduate from the Sorbonne and founded the first American illustrated press service in Europe, the Bonney Service, in 1924. 

Christmas – on a little stage

December 26, 2013

What makes pop-ups pop?  

Preserving Alphabets and Needlework – the Smithsonian Women’s Committee

November 8, 2013

The Smithsonian Women’s Committee granted the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library an award in 2012-13 for the preservation and re-housing of two important and rare embroidery and lace manuals dating from the early 17th and late 18th century. Due to their poor and fragile condition, they could not be handled and would have continued to deteriorate if left untreated.

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