Saturday, July 8, 2017

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

Friday, July 7, we were planning to go to a new museum, called the Met Breuer. It is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has been extended into the building where the Whitney Museum used to be. However, I wasn’t feeling too well and it was pouring down rain in the morning, so we did not go.
Sistine Chapel exhibit at the Oculus

After lunch I was feeling better and the sun came out, so we decided to salvage the rest of the day and visit the Cooper-Hewitt Museum on 5th Avenue at 91st Street. We were there years ago, but they have changing exhibits and the current one is called the Age of Jazz.

The museum is a former Carnegie Mansion which was extensively remodeled to accommodate the design collection of the Hewitt sisters and their grandfather, John Cooper. We could still see many of the lovely features of the old house, the wood paneling –ceilings and walls, stained glass windows, grand staircase, chandeliers, etc. The museum is the Design Museum of the Smithsonian.

So, all of the exhibits featured beautiful designs for all sorts of familiar and exotic objects. The Jazz Age featured items from the 20’s and 30’s. I really love the clean lines of that period – beautiful silver tea sets with square shapes, wood desks with open shelves and minimal decoration, chairs with metal arms and legs. Of course, my favorite was the jewelry and other decorative items. There were lots of jeweled, enameled, gold & silver boxes and cases. The art deco pieces were also lovely. There were paintings, book covers, clothing, piano scores, wall paper, on and on. It was really almost too much to take in. Plus there were pieces from the original Hewitt sisters collections. The wrought iron bird cages were particularly interesting, and also the models of spiral staircases.

An interesting feature was the special pen that they gave us. We could use it to quickly download the descriptions of any items we particularly liked. They put it up on their Web site after we returned the pens and we can look at the items on our own computer. This is another place I would highly recommend visiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment