Skip to Content
  • Language
  • End User
  • Educational Use
  • Time Required
(333)
(635)
(842)
(769)
(941)
(28)
(431)
(359)
(191)
(444)
(167)
(177)

Found 968 Collections

 

Contemporary Muslim Fashions

This collection explores the significance of the Contemporary Muslim Fashions exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. Contemporary Muslim Fashions includes an ongoing trend in modest fashion that extends beyond strictly Muslim audiences. The collection also examines examples of fashion from various regions, including streatwear and couture fashion, as well as current trends in overcoming the obstacle of athletic wear for modest and Muslim women. Finally the collection includes news articles that discuss the exhibition as well as the impact of contemporary Muslim fashion on the global community.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
62
 

Nature: Botanical Expressions

At the turn of the 20th century, the intersection of botanical study with design practice stimulated an array of plant forms and motifs in furnishings, glassware, ceramics, textiles, and more. Botanical Expressions reveals how designers, inspired by nature and informed by scientific knowledge, created vibrant new designs in America, Britain, France, and the Netherlands. Blossoming vases, plantlike stuctures, fanciful garden illustrations, and a diversity of vegetal and floral patterns reveal how nature and design dynamically merged.

An increasing number of designers, trained as botanists, advocated for the beauty and order of nature’s systems, colors, and patterns. Many manufacturers operated in proximity to gardens for natural study and stocked books of botanical illustrations as resources for their designers. These primary sources, on loan from Smithsonian Libraries, appear alongside the objects they influenced.

Since the 19th century, the garden was often seen as a refuge from industry and a natural source of plenty and pleasure. This history of botanical expressions in design illuminates a reflection on the critical role of nature within our world.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
67
 

Lanette Scheeline

Lanette Scheeline (1910-2001) was an American textile and wallpaper designer. Designs by Scheeline were often custom and created using block printing, intaglio and machine printing techniques. She also experimented with printing designs on Japanese paper. Her designs were largely influenced by natural forms and botany, which can be seen in this collection. Scheeline's working career overlapped with World War II, during which she worked in a shipyard, she returned to her career as as designer after the war.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
59
 

Trude Guermonprez: Breaking Boundaries with Design

Trude Guermonprez (1910-1979) was a highly regarded textile designer born in Germany. Guermonperz immigrated to America and began teaching weaving at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina until the weaving program there ended. Trude Guermonperz then went on to teach at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), and finally at California College of Arts and Crafts (now known as the California College of Art & Design) where she became chair of the department. Through her teaching Guermonperz had an enormous impact on American weavers, many cite her as an influence and inspiration. Trude Guermonprez's work includes designs that were completed for clients and industry as well as broad collection of highly experimental pieces. This collection includes examples of functional designs for clients, experimental designs and samples, as well as a selection of her beautifully rendered sketches for designs.

This collection focuses on the objects within the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum collection from Trude Guermonprez, yet also includes photographs of the designer from the Archives of American Art.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
50
 

Elaine Lustig Cohen

Elaine Lustig Cohen (1927-2016) built a career specializing in book cover design, museum catalogs and building signage, most of which she inherited from her husband's business after his early death at age 40. Cohen was never formally trained as a designer, and worked as a production artist for her husband, after his death she took over the business and built a successful and highly regarded career. Much of the work she did in this phase included graphic design and signage for architectural spaces, having taken over a project for Philip Johnson upon her husband's death. In addition to signage Cohen's design work included idnity design and advertising as well as museum catalog designs, though most prolifically she produced work as book designer. Cohen closed her business in 1969, choosing instead to focus on painting, though she continued to take design jobs occasionally from clients and she designed catalogs for the rare book company, Ex-Libris, she founded with her second husband Arthur Cohen, while all of Elaine Lustig Cohen's work can be viewed as experimental it is the work she did for herself and her husband as clients at Ex-Libris that is exceptionally so. Some of her longest running clients included Meridian Books and the Jewish Museum, examples of work from both can be found in this collection along with catalog designs for Ex-Libris. Cohen earned recognition within the graphic design community with awards like the 2011 AIGA Medal.

This is a collection highlighting the career of graphic designer Elaine Lustig Cohen as part of the American Women’s History Initiative.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
56
 

Eva Zeisel: A Lifetime of Design

Eva Zeisel (1906–2011) was born in Budapest and only immigrated to America in 1938 after having been imprisoned by the NKVD in Russia for an alleged plot on Stalin's life. She lived in America for the rest of her life though she continued to work internationally and worked until she passed away in 2011 at 105. Zeisel created designs for American, German, Italian and Japanese companies and her list of clients includes Sears, Roebuck as well as more recent clients such as Crate and Barrel. Zeisel was the recipient of many honors and awards, including an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in l947 and a Lifetime Achievement award from the Cooper Hewitt in 2005. This collection includes sketches for designs as well as finished ceramic pieces. Note that her most colorful and loudly patterned pieces are designs for German companies.

Includes a video that is roughly 58 minutes long, introductions last about 4:40 then talk begins.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
57
 

Dorothy Wright Liebes: Unorthodox Textiles

Dorothy Wright Liebes (1893-1972) was a textile designer who is known for having developed a distinctive look, including vibrant colors and patterns that became synonymous with the Modernist movement in California in the 1940s and 1950s. Widely traveled, Liebes often drew inspiration from the places she visited around the world for her unique textile designs. Her designs often include bold colors associated with California Modernism. Liebes experimented with materials, aside from traditional materials such as silk and cotton, she was also know to incorporate cellophane and plastics as well as metals and metallic yarns into her designs. Fiercely determined and career driven, when her husband Leon Liebes suggested she quit working she divorced him, choosing herself and her career over the marriage. Her designs were so successful and sought after that they inspired many imitations.

Contributions of Liebes can be found in the Archives of American Art, the National Portrait Gallery as well as the Copper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, this collection included examples across the Smithsonian but primarily focuses on content from the Cooper Hewitt.

#BecauseOfHerStory

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
71
 

Nike Pro Hijab

The Nike Pro Hijab, featured in Contemporary Muslim Fashions exhibition at Cooper Hewitt in the spring of 2020, is a hijab developed by Nike specifically for sport performance. 

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
9
 

The Tlingit People and Their Culture

By Rosita Worl (Tlingit), 2009

(This is shortened version of a longer essay from the Smithsonian book Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska.)

Sea, Land, Rivers

Lingít haa sateeyí, "we who are Tlingit," have owned and occupied southeast Alaska since time immemorial. When we say haa aaní, “our land,” we are speaking from the heart. Those words mean ownership, which we have had to defend through history. They mean identity, because this is our homeland. They mean the nourishment of body and spirit provided by bountiful rain forests, coasts and rivers. This land and its gifts have sustained us for hundreds of generations.

We believe that animals are our ancestors. Each matrilineal clan has its ancient progenitors. I am an Eagle from the Thunderbird clan, of the House Lowered from the Sun in Klukwan. I am proud to be a child of the Lukaax.ádi, or Sockeye, my father’s clan. The history of our lineages is portrayed by images of ancestral animals and by origin stories, ceremonial regalia, dances, songs and names. These things represent at.óow, or “crest” beings, to which each clan has exclusive rights. Mountains, glaciers and other places on the land are also at.óow, because they are linked to incidents in the birth of our people. For a Tlingit person at.óow embody history, ancestry, geography, social being and sacred connection. They symbolize who we are.

The Tlingit homeland extends from Icy Bay in the north to Prince of Wales Island in the south, some four hundred miles along Alaska’s panhandle. The population is about ten thousand, distributed among a dozen villages, cities and towns. The ocean spreads out before us, with a maze of wooded islands, fjords and channels that Tlingit seafarers historically traveled in cedar-trunk canoes. Behind us are high glaciated mountain ranges that extend inland from the coast.

Fish, especially salmon, is the most important and bountiful resource in the Tlingit region. Harvested in summer and fall and preserved by smoking and drying, it allowed the historical population to grow large, to live in permanent winter villages and to produce surpluses for trade. It is still the year-round staple of our diet. The winter is long, and we look forward to spring and to herring eggs. We pick spring greens as they come up. Through the summer people gather berries and put them away. Summer is the season for hunting seals, which are important both for meat and for their fat. Nutritionists note the exceptional quality of our traditional diet, which includes omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, cancer-preventing antioxidants in blueberries, and the rich vitamins and proteins of wild meats and fish. We’ve always enjoyed the health benefits and superb tastes of those foods.

Community and Family

Tlingit are divided into opposing and complementary halves, Eagle and Raven, which are called moieties. Each moiety is composed of large extended families that we identify as clans. The clans, in turn, are divided into tribal houses. In the present day, many Tlingit people introduce themselves to others first by personal name and moiety—Eagle or Raven—and then by clan name and house. We inherit clan membership from our mothers but call ourselves the “children” of our father’s clan. In the past, children lived in the house of their father. But when a boy reached the age of ten, he went to live with his mother’s brother, who assumed responsibility for the schooling of his young nephew. A girl remained in her father’s clan house until she married.

Although locally organized by village and clan, our region was never politically unified until coming into conflict with the West. When the Treaty of Cession was signed in 1867 our great-grandparents were astonished to learn that Russia had purported to sell Alaska, including our aboriginal lands, to the United States. Tribal leaders sent a lawyer to Washington to tell the government, “If you want to buy Alaska, then buy it from us, its rightful owners.” The struggle for our land continued for more than a century. The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes, established during World War II, litigated for thirty years to reach a financial settlement over tribal property taken by the U.S. federal government to create the Tongass National Forest. In 1968, the Tlingit and other groups unified under the Alaska Federation of Natives to pursue both state and federal claims.

The Tlingit people, like all Alaska Natives, endured a long, hard fight for their civil rights. We were denied U.S. citizenship until 1922 and experienced decades of overt discrimination and segregation. Alaska’s own “Jim Crow” laws excluded us from stores, jobs, schools and public buildings. In 1945, the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood, based in southeast Alaska, finally won the repeal of discriminatory laws by the state legislature. To earn his Certificate of Citizenship, my grandfather had to pass an English-language and civics test administered by white schoolteachers and then have his application approved by a judge. To practice his rights as a citizen, including the right to vote, he was forced to show that he had given up his Native language and culture to lead a “civilized” life.

When he was dying my grandfather called me to his bedside. I was fourteen years old. He said, “I want you to build a fire in the clan house.” What he was saying is that my generation had to rekindle the fire of our culture and language. That became our responsibility. We have worked hard to help restore cultural knowledge, practice, pride and fluency among our people. We have had substantial success, as witnessed by the huge public expression of our cultures that takes place every other year during the regional Celebration gathering. Progress has been made with the Tlingit language as well, although I don’t know that we’ll ever speak it the way our ancestors did. I will tell you, though, that the voices of our ancestors will always be heard in our land. And our core cultural values will be maintained.

Ceremony and Celebration

One of our strongest values is the maintenance of social and spiritual balance between Eagle and Raven clans to ensure the well-being of society. In addition, we have spiritual obligations to ancestors and future generations, a concept of cultural perpetuation called haa shagoon. These traditional beliefs form the basis of ceremonies called ku.éex’ or potlatch in English. The most significant ku.éex’ ceremonies are memorials to those who have passed away. When someone of an Eagle clan dies, members of Raven clans come to assist the grieving relatives. They bring food, contribute to the funeral expenses and sit with the body through the night.

A year after the death the Eagle clan hosts a ku.éex’ for the Ravens, who come as guests. The hosts display their clan treasures, or at.óow. In this context, the word at.óow refers to works of traditional art that bear the images of crest beings. They include Chilkat blankets woven from dyed mountain sheep wool, button blankets, headdresses, carved and painted boxes, masks and drums. Clan ownership of these crest objects is revalidated by their presentation in the memorial ceremony, accompanied by a recounting of their histories and the origin stories of the crests themselves. Balance is maintained through the response of the Raven clans by presenting their own at.óow. The Eagle clan repays the Ravens, who came to the Eagles’ assistance, by distributing gifts and acknowledging them in oratory and song.

At a memorial ku.éex’ we name and honor the deceased person, our ancestors and others in the clan who have recently died. We feed these ancestors and departed relatives with their favorite foods, perhaps smoked cockles, gumboots (chitons) or deer meat. We transfer the food to the spirit world by fire or by giving it to the opposite side to eat.

If the person who died was a clan leader, his successor is named and assumes office at the time of the memorial ceremony. Therefore, a ku.éex’ has multiple functions: repaying the opposite moiety and reuniting with them, fulfilling spiritual obligations, and conducting legal and political affairs. This institution, which remains so vital and important in our contemporary lives, is far more complex than a stereotypical understanding of the word potlatch might imply.

Tags: Tlingit, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska


Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
20
 

Learning through Games

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
 

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg's The Substitute

On March 19, 2018, the last male northern white rhino, Sudan, died, bringing his subspecies to the brink of extinction. As scientists work to resurrect the rhino through experimental and controversial biotechnologies, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg “brings back to life” a male northern white rhino using data generated by artificial intelligence to ask the question “what errors in reproduction may arise as we recreate life artificially?” As it habituates to its environment, the rhino’s form and sound toggle from pixelated to lifelike—reminding us that this rhino, coming to life without its natural context, is entirely artificial.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
7
 

Ultraboost Shoe, 2016-Ongoing

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
9
 

Graviky Lab's Air-Ink, 2013-ongoing

Responding to the pollution in cities caused by carbon emissions from vehicles, Graviky Labs founder Anirudh Sharma has developed a device that can be attached to exhaust pipes to capture the tiny particles in exhaust. Once captured, this fine particulate matter can be converted into water-resistant ink, a nearly pure carbon pigment.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
6
 

Alaska Native Technologies: Bolas

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
 

Sharing Resources: Athabascan Potlatches Today

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
 

Local Materials: Yup'ik Ingenuity

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
 

Herbert Bayer

Herbert Bayer (American, born Austria, active Germany and USA, 1900–1985) was a student and teacher at the Bauhaus. This famous German art and design school, which operated from 1919 to 1933, sought to integrate art, design, and daily life. At the Bauhaus, Bayer experimented with geometry, photomontage, and functional typography to help forge a new approach to graphic design. He applied Bauhaus theories of art and design to commercial practice and promoted the Bauhaus legacy to the public during a prolific career spanning over six decades and two continents.

As a student during the early years of the Bauhaus, Bayer utilized hand-drawn letters and basic geometry to create posters, postcards, and murals. In 1925, he became a "young master" at the Bauhaus and established a modernized print shop in the school's new building in Dessau. Here, he deployed photography and machine-based printing to promote the school and its products, such as furniture, housewares, and wallpaper.

After leaving the Bauhaus in 1928, Bayer worked in Berlin and in 1938 he left Germany for New York City. He eventually moved to Aspen, Colorado, a town he helped transform into a thriving cultural center. In the United States, Bayer created information graphics, books, advertisements, exhibitions, architecture, and magazine layouts for diverse clients, and he pioneered the field of corporate design.

This exhibition marks the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, in 1919.

Many of the objects displayed in this exhibition, including all the works from the Bauhaus period, have been generously loaned by Merrill C. Berman. In 2015, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum acquired over 500 pieces documenting Bayer's later career, made possible through a gift from the Taub Foundation. They are presented here to the public for the first time.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
56
 

Willi Smith

Willi Smith (1958-1987)

Willi Smith was an African American fashion designer whose street wear line known as WilliWear was and experiment of democracy in fashion. WilliWear designs were known to be bold, blurring the lines between high and low culture, and his work often involved collaborations with other artists and designers. The openly gay designer's career was cut short when he died in 1987 from complications from HIV/AIDS.

This collection is a representation of the 2020 exhibition Willi Smith: Street Couture at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, which features over 200 pieces from Smith’s work and career and his numerous collaborations with artists, dancers, choreographers, graphic designers, architects, and more. The works on view include video, sketches, patterns, photographs, and garments.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
67
 

Uncovering America: Faces of America/Portraits

What is a portrait? What truths and questions does a portrait communicate?

What might a portrait express about the person portrayed? How does it reflect the sitter’s community, setting, family, or friends? What does the portrait reveal about the artist?

Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States.

National Gallery of Art
4
 

Uncovering America: Manifest Destiny and the West

In what ways was the US settled and unsettled in the 19th century?

What role did artists play in shaping public understandings of the US West?

Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States.

National Gallery of Art
4
 

Which One Doesn't Belong

This collection includes digital museum resources and models the listening and speaking strategy Which one Doesn't Belong.  The collection can be copied and adapted for use in your own classroom. 




#EthnicStudies


Jennifer Smith
8
 

Uncovering America: Gordon Parks Photography

How does Gordon Parks use photography to address inequities in the United States?

How do Gordon Parks’s images capture the intersections of art, race, class, and politics across the United States?

What do photographs in general—and Gordon Parks’s photographs more specifically—tell us about the American Dream?

Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for K–12 educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States.

National Gallery of Art
4
 

Exploring Ava DuVernay's "Selma": History as Visual Culture

The guiding questions of this Learning Lab are

  • What is visual art’s connection to historical events? Why is it important that we recognize these connections?
  • What does studying art add to our understanding of historical events and time periods?

The goals of this Learning Lab are

  • Bridge the gap in understanding between art analysis and historical analysis
  • Explore the inherent ties between art pieces and their surrounding historical context
  • Introduce the foundations of formal art analysis and develop close looking skills for visual art pieces

If you are new to Learning Lab, visit https://learninglab.si.edu/help/getting-started to learn how to get started!

#NPGTeach


Special thanks to National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Smithsonian Folkways, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) for inspiring this learning lab and for their resources.

Keywords: Portraiture, African American, American, Selma, Alabama, visual art, Civil Rights Movement, United States, visual literacy

Ashleigh Coren
45
 

Medieval Manuscript

Collection of Medieval Manuscripts from anywhere in the world. 

Ty Torrence
7
1-24 of 968 Collections