Thursday, January 1, 2015

EXHIBITIONS: Cooper Hewitt reopens! The Magic Pen and "Maira Kalman Selects" take center stage

After being closed to the public for three years, the newly renovated and expanded Smithsonian/Cooper Hewitt Museum in NYC -- the only museum in the nation devoted to both historic and contemporary design -- finally reopened its doors on December 12, 2014. The $91m modernization, which adds 60 per cent more gallery space, will allow museum-goers to have an enlivened visitor experience through the use of interactive, creative technologies. These include The Magic Pen (my moniker, not theirs), which can be used to trace and sketch on computerized table-screens, explore related objects in the Cooper Hewitt’s collection, and save and share items online.

Take (borrow, actually) the pen!
To learn more about the magic pen, and how it will
enliven the museum experience, link here.

I'm particularly excited about the special exhibit of artist Maira Kalman's favorite items from the museum's vast collection. Five years ago, Kalman began choosing items for this exhibit, sorting through the Cooper Hewitt's vast collection of decorative and functional items: stockings, shoes, hats, teapots, samplers, handkerchiefs, glassware, ceramics, porcelain, jewelry and vintage editions of famed children's books to name but a few. (Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh are included in the show.) Two goosebump-inducing items on display are Abraham Lincoln’s funeral pall and gold pocket watch.

Below are some items from Maira Kalman Selects  ...
    Bonbonniere and cover: 
    Ambassador, 1926. Mold-blown muslin glass

Abraham Lincoln's watch, England, c. 1858. Gold, glass, metal   

Bracelet, ca. 1993. Netherlands. Marijke de Goey. Bent steel wire

Painting, Zig-Zag Chair, 2014. Maira Kalman. Gouache on paper 

To listen to an interview with artist Maira Kalman on WAMC FM's popular show "Roundtable", link here.

Maira Kalman Selects will run
from 12 December 2014 to 14 June 2015

 10 inaugural exhibitions will include the 350-piece collection showcase

Link here to the Cooper Hewitt's "Object of the Day" webpage
Always fascinating!

The Cooper Hewitt Museum on Fifth Avenue, New York City
The 64-room mansion, built 1899-1902,  was originally the home of 
industrial magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

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