Fashion in the Natural World: Fusing Science with Art

This post first appeared on the Biodiversity Heritage Library blog in February 2016. Emile-Allain Séguy was a popular French designer throughout the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements of the 1920s. Often confused with the French entomologist Eugene Séguy who was active during the same time period, E.A. Séguy designed primarily patterns and textiles and was heavily influenced by the natural world. He was particularly fond of the intricate patterns and beauty more »

Explore “Color in a New Light” on Periscope & Twitter

At the end of the month, the Smithsonian Libraries will open Color in a New Light, a new exhibition highlighting the role of color in our lives, from science to fashion and everything in between.  Even if you’re not able to visit the show in person in the National Museum of Natural History ,  we invite you to join us as we explore color through several interactive social media events.  

For the Voice 

This post was written by Stephen Van Dyk, Librarian, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library. The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library recently obtained this renowned example of early 20th century book and graphic design entitled Dlja golosa (For the Voice), published in Berlin in 1923.  The sixty-one page softcover work, a collaboration of Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) and designer El Lissitzky (1890-1941), rhythmically interlaces innovative constructivist style layouts and patterns with thirteen more »

Designing Women: The Hewitt Sisters and The Remaking of a Modern Museum (Part 2)

This is a two-part series on the Hewitt sisters. By 1897, Sarah and Eleanor had collected enough to formally open their museum on the fourth floor of the Cooper Union. In the tradition of their grandfather, the Hewitt sisters wanted to actualize a museum and library that were not just a showcase, but also tools—places that students and designers could come to for reference and inspiration, then go out and create their more »

Designing Women: The Hewitt Sisters and The Remaking of a Modern Museum (Part 1)

This is a two-part series on the Hewitt sisters. Deep in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library’s collection of rare books, one might be surprised to come across children’s illustrated books by Walter Crane and Beatrix Potter. Even more fascinating might be the origin of these tomes, for in this collection are the very books read by the founding sisters of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum: Sarah (Sallie) and Eleanor (Nellie) more »

The Chakras at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Library

This post was originally featured on the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s “Object of the Day” blog, written by digital media technologist Katie Shelly. Last year, our librarian Stephen Van Dyk picked up this slender blue hardcover at a rare book auction. He didn’t know exactly what a “chakra” was, but still he found the worn old book remarkable, if not a bit weird, for its striking illustrations of big painted circles.

Women’s History Month: Adelaide Alsop-Robineau and Keramic Studio

Around March, I’ll be forgiven if I start to pay a little more attention to the genders of the people I come across in our digital book and journal collection. After all, it is Women’s History Month. But one journal I keep coming back to is Keramic Studio, a monthly ceramics magazine produced around the turn of the 20th century that we digitized a couple years ago as part of our Books Online collection. Adelaide more »

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