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Tag: Art Deco

Cooper Hewitt Pro-Seminar Series: Embracing ‘Phobia’

All incoming students in The New School Parsons History of Design and Curatorial Studies (MA) Masters’ Degree Program at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum take an object and research based class called Pro-Seminar. This course trains students in conducting formal analyses, writing catalog entries, and making visual presentations that require students to conduct and integrate primary and secondary source research.  Students select one work from the museum collection to study during this first semester, that ”work” can be a book from the Cooper Hewitt Design Library presented by staff during curatorial orientations. Phobia was chosen as a Pro-Seminar topic by Joseph T. McPartlin in the fall of 2015.

Hidden History: Art Deco in the Trade Literature Collection

This post was written by Katie Martin, Summer 2016 Art Deco Trade Literature Research intern at the National Museum of American History Library.

For six weeks in June and July, my task was to research and identify materials from the trade literature and world’s fair collections housed at the National Museum of American History Library that showcase the Art Deco period in Chicago.

A Wordless Novel – Gods’ Man

Gods' Man
Gods’ Man

The Cooper Hewitt Library regularly collaborates with the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum on exhibitions and publications, providing images, books and other related materials from our Special Collections that complement the theme of a show. We are often asked to seek out new materials for possible inclusion in upcoming exhibitions. This past summer, in looking for books and related materials from the 1920’s and early 30’s for an exhibition, the Library acquired several novels selected for their Art Deco-style graphic dustjackets. A beautifully illustrated book with a striking black and white dust jacket titled Gods’ man : a novel in woodcuts , by the artist printmaker Lynd Ward (1905-1985) aroused my curiosity. It was what was referred to at the time of its publication in 1929 a “wordless novel” – what we can refer to today as the “graphic novel”. It is a narrative genre that uses sequences of captionless pictures to tell a story. Gods’ man was the first of six wordless novels created by Lynd Ward during the years 1929- 1974, and the first American wordless novel.

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

Thérèse Bonney. Paris, France, 1925-30.  Scissor shop sign, denoting the business of a seamstress or tailor.
Thérèse Bonney. Paris, France, 1925-30. Scissor shop sign, denoting the business of a seamstress or tailor.

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.