Adopted Books

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Adopted Books
Bostwick Gate Company Collection, ephemera

Bostwick Gate Company Collection


Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

A rare collection of items related to the Bostwick Gate and Shutter Company, this assortment of ephemera includes the patent for Alfred Clark’s Collapsible Gates, his identification card for his entry into the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle Internattionale, and a miniature brass sample of the known “Bostwick Gates.” Highly regarded for his ingenious folding gate design, this trade catalogue directly connects Cooper Hewitt’s existing World’s Fair collection with affordable practicality in industrial design. The British Architect Journal, July to December 1889 cites the...
Cover of Wendingen

Wendingen: Vol.4: No.11 (1921)

Santpoort: C. A. Mees,
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

El Lissitzky (1890-1941) was a Russian avant-garde artist, designer, photographer, typographer, and architect whose work greatly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements. His experimentation with techniques and styles went on to dominate 20th Century graphic design. Lissitzky designed this cover of Wendingen, an international Dutch magazine focusing on modern architecture, art, and design from 1918-1931. This issue was dedicated entirely to Frank Lloyd Wright with text by H.P. Berlege and numerous illustrations of the celebrated architect's work, including a photograph...
Damage to A Treatise of "Japaning" and Varnishing

A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing

By John Stalker. Oxford: Printed for, and sold by the authors, John Stalker, London, or by George Parker at Mr. Richard Woods [sic] house, Oxford, 1688.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

By the 17th century, East Asian art, in particular Asian porcelain and lacquerwork known as japanning, became fashionable, creating a European market of imports as well a demand for replica designs and manufacture. By this time, the use of lacquer in Europe inspired several writings detailing construction, use, and design of these artistic techniques. This 1688 treatise is a detailed European artisans’ guide on the lacquer process by John Stalker and George Parker, featuring the first detailed pattern illustrations. The term japanning stems from the superiority of Japanese...
Page from Pop-Up Book L︠i︡udi i zvëzdy, depicting astronauts and equipment

L͡iudi i zvëzdy.

By A. A. Gurshtein. Moskva: Malysh, 1982.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

This is one of over 1,600 titles at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library classified as a pop-up and movable book. Some of these titles have been in the collection since the founding of the Cooper Union Museum in 1897. However, the majority of the pop-up collection was acquired in the 1980s and continues to grow through donations from collectors and select purchases. Spanning over 500 years, these action-packed works of art were intended to calculate, educate, entertain, and amaze. This book is a particularly rare example on astronomy published in the USSR in 1982.
Lamps from Dagobert Peche

Dagobert Peche

By Max Eisler. Wien und Leipzig: Gerlach & Wiedling, 1925.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

This first and only edition of the earliest book on decorative arts designer Dagobert Peche (1881-1923), written by art historian and Vienna University professor Max Eisler (1881-1937), includes 100 full plates of Peche’s designs for lamps, glass, textiles, ceramics, jewelry, silverware, wallpaper, and interiors. Peche became artistic director of the Wiener Werkstätte in 1915, a production community of visual artists founded by Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffmann in Vienna in 1903. Peche’s designs, illustrated on the decorative cover and throughout the book, have a distinctive linear quality...
Damage to Katalog Farforu Faiansu i Maioliky

Katalog Farforu Faiansu i Maioliky

Kyiv: Ukrains'ke Derzhavne vydavnytstvo mistsevoi promyslovosti, 1940.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

This extremely rare 1940 trade catalog represents the output of 10 state owned ceramics factories in small towns and villages all over the Ukraine after industry was nationalized in 1918. Today, we are more familiar with the graphic arts of Communist Russia as vehicles for propaganda, such as posters. The decorative arts of utilitarian objects, like the tableware featured in this catalog, were also important vehicles for disseminating political concepts of the new social order and Soviet nationalism to the masses in everyday life. The Stalinist era of the 1930’s combined “peasant”...
Plate from Recueil d'Alphabets

Recueil d'Alphabets

By Jules Blondeau. Paris, New York: L. Turgis jeune, [1845?].
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

A Collection of Alphabets Dedicated to Artists is a small pattern book of decorative and ornamented typefaces for alphabets and numbers. Containing variations of common Roman, Gothic, and Italian letter forms, it offers letters of the alphabet formed by human figures, silhouettes of human figures, and animals. Interestingly, it also has a page of the letters formed by hands in sign language alphabet. In the age of letterpress, and now digital typography, it’s interesting to see manually designed typefaces which artists and designers would have copied and used as sources for...
Cover of Le Spectacle est dans la Rue

Le Spectacle est dans la Rue

By A. M. Cassandre. Montrouge, Seine: Imprimee par Draeger Freres, 1936?.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Cassandre, pseudonym of Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron (1901 –1968), was a French painter, commercial poster artist, and typeface designer whose inventive graphic techniques show influences of Surrealism and Cubism. He was very popular in Europe and the United States during the 1930s. In 1935, Cassandre signed an exclusive contract with the firm of Draeger Freres for the French editions of his posters. Draeger, a French printer who published some of the masterpieces of French design was a pioneer of advertising. Between the world wars, the company reached its peak collaborating, with renowned...
Cover of Wendingen

Wendingen: Vol.6: No.11-12 (1924)

Santpoort : C. A. Mees,
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Wendingen (Dutch:Inversions / Upheaval) was an art magazine published from 1918 to 1932. It was a monthly publication aimed at architects and interior designers, and included discussions on graphics, sculpture, ceramics, glass, and theatrical design. The magazine gained recognition not only through its content but also by its remarkable square format, striking typography, and beautiful covers. In 1924, vol. 6 no.11-12 focused on crystals, which Hendricus Theodorus Wijdeveld (1885-1987), designer and chief editor, considered as the “raw material for the building of temples.”...
Plate from Polychromatic decoration as applied to buildings in the mediæval styles

Polychromatic Decoration as Applied to Buildings in the Medival Styles

By W. Audsley. London [etc.]: H. Sotheran & co, 1882.
Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

This Victorian sourcebook of medieval ornament is from a time when the fascination with both Gothic and medieval styles in domestic and ecclesiastical buildings was wildly popular. This volume still has its original binding. The chromolithographic plates were printed by the Firmin-Didot (Paris), the best color printer at the time. Some plates are printed with metallic inks in keeping with the Victorian passion for medieval illumination. Many of these designs were copied to wallpaper and stencils and is part of the Cooper Hewitt’s Library’s large collection of pattern books.

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