Adopted Books

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Adopted Books
Frontispiece and Title Page of New York Crystal Palace

New York Crystal Palace

By Georg Carstensen. New York: Riker, Thorne & Co., Publishers, 1854.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

New York City's 1853 Exhibition, The New York Crystal Palace, was held on the site of what is now Bryant Park between Fifth and Sixth Avenues on 42nd Street. Housed in an innovative cast‐iron and glass structure designed by Georg Carstensen and German architect Charles Gildemeister, The Crystal Palace was one of the city’s first tourist attractions, displaying a broad array of consumer goods and technological advancements. Tragically, the building was destroyed by fire five years after its completion.
Cover of Check List of Calico Buttons

Check List of Calico Buttons

By Wilfred B. Morgan. South Hanover, Mass.: The Author, c1939.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Contrary to what one might expect a calico button to be, such as a calico cloth covered button, this book refers to a china button with printed calico designs. A calico textile pattern was printed in ink on paper that was then laid on top of a tray of fired china buttons. As the tray made a second trip through the kiln, heat transferred the inked pattern onto the surface of the button and the paper was burned away. The author, Mr. Wilfred Morgan, was the first person to publish a catalog of calico button patterns. His catalog has since been used for reference by collectors and the...
Plate from Floriated Ornament

Floriated Ornament

By Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1849.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

This is a first edition of an important pattern book containing 31 chromolithographics designed by Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-1852) and inspired by design forms found in nature. Pugin, best known as the designer of the interiors of Houses of Parliament (1836-1868) in collaboration with Sir Charles Barry (1795-1860), was a proponent of Neo-Gothic as a national style for England. He believed that Neo-Gothic should incorporate natural forms.  In this work, he offers simplified ornament designs reminiscent of thistles, local plants, snowflakes, and other flora and fauna which could be adapted...
Plate from Examples of Chinese Ornament

Examples of Chinese Ornament

By Owen Jones. London: S. & T. Gilbert, 1867.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Owen Jones (1809-1874), one of the most influential English architects, designers, and design theorists of the nineteenth century, wrote this book. Jones selected 100 full-color plates sourced from the motifs of Chinese ceramics, cloisonné works, and carpet designs. In the preface, Jones notes that these magnificent works of Chinese ornament had rarely been seen before the 1860s, describing them as "remarkable, not only for the perfection and skill shown in the technical processes, but also for the beauty and harmony of the colouring, and general perfection of the ornamentation.”
Tabula XXII from Elementa Ornithologica

Elementa Ornithologica

By Jacob Christian Schaffer. Ratisbonae: Typis Breitfeldianis, 1779.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Elementa Ornithologica by Jacob Christian Schäffer (1718-1790), a German philosophy and divinity teacher, botanist, mycologist, entomologist, ornithologist, and inventor, is a detailed, beautifully illustrated ornithological study in which birds are divided into two classes: Nudipedes (those with naked legs) and Plumipedes (with feathered legs). Schäffer, who created this classification system, also developed and named colors on charts that would imitate as closely as possible the natural hues found in plants and animals. As an inventor, Schäffer experimented with electricity and...
Plate from Kaigara Danmen Zuan showing damage

Kaigara Danmen Zuan

By Yoichiro Hirase. Kyōto: Unsōdō, Taishō 2, 1913.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Published in Kyoto by Unsōdō in 1913, the shapes depicted in this book feature bold calligraphic lines and organic forms share characteristics with both Japan’s Rinpa and Europe’s Art Nouveau movements. However, a scientist, not a designer, derived these shapes in a new and unique way. Yoichirō Hirase, a prominent malacologist (mollusk scientist) in Japan, collected over 3,500 seashells, 1,000 of which were new discoveries. Hirase explains in the introduction that he came up with the idea for this book while researching shells and cutting them at various angles. He found the cross sections...
Plate from A new elucidation of the subjects on the celebrated Portland vase

A New Elucidation of the Subjects on the Celebrated Portland Vase

By Thomas Windus. London: Published for the author by W. Pickering, F.G. Moon, Pelham Richardson, and Smith and Elder, 1845.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

This beautifully illustrated and rare--actually, first and only edition folio--is a study of the subject matter depicted on a Roman glass cameo vase (AD1-AD25) called the Portland Vase. The Portland Vase inspired glass and porcelain makers including Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) who produced a duplicate in black and white jasperware in 1790. Discovered in the sarcophagus of Emperor Alexander Severus near Rome in 1582, the vase passed through the Barberini family, British ambassador Sir William Hamilton, and finally to the 2nd & 3rd Dukes of Portland who gave it to the British Museum. ...
Original cover of Leathers of Old Japan

Leathers of Old Japan

Boston ; Kobe : Bunkio Matsuki, [1800-1899?].
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Originally published in 1845, this book features the leather pattern designs of Keisai Ikeda, used by the Japanese military to line armor and for casing weapons. Patterns were used in the past for military costumes, festivities, and decorative clothing and accessories. The author of this collection of woodblock patterns designed for use on leathers owned a major collection of rare objects illustrating the art of Old Japan, which were sold at auction in 1903. Some of these patterns may have appeared in his collection of leatherwork. This volume is one of the many design pattern books owned...
Persian glass

Catalogue of the Collection of Glass Formed by Felix Slade

By Felix Slade. London: Printed for private distribution, 1871.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

This is an illustrated catalog of the significant glass collection of Felix Slade (1790-1868), noted philanthropist, bibliophile, and collector of engravings and etchings, whose scholarships formed the London Slade School of Art. He prepared the Slade Catalogue of his glass collection, edited after his death, which he hoped would “be useful in encouraging the study and practice of this country (England)." In the preface, he explains his early attraction to Venetian glass, and expanded his scope to include specimens of various ages and countries. The catalog begins with a detailed...
Cover of Restaurants, Dancings, Cafes, Bars

Restaurants, Dancings, Cafes, Bars

By Charles Moreau. Paris: Charles Morea, [1929?].
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Paris was transformed by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes of 1925. This portfolio of black and white photographs documents interiors and facades of popular Parisian dining and entertaining establishments. The new Paris, as created by the most prominent architects and decorators of the time, such as Charles Siclis, Pierre Patout, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Louis Sognot, and Maurice Dufrêne, among other notables, is represented in this volume. The use of modern materials such as glass, aluminum, and chrome along with new decorative lighting...

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