Tech Pleasures

A day in New York museums, and for the most part, the architecture and technology interested me more than the art.  Could have been my mood, but I was more charmed by Frank Lloyd Weight’s building at the Guggenheim than the dreary retrospective of Alberto Burri and uninspired Photo-Poetics.  I can show you more poetry from a cell phone camera.
2015-11-27 12.54.27

Inspiring view in the Guggenheim

My long-awaited visit to the Cooper Hewitt didn’t disappoint.  What fun the ‘pen’ is.  You get the fat, two-tipped device at check-in.
2015-11-27 11.25.36

One end allows you to draw on interactive boards around the museum.

You can see my minimalist genius here.  Some people (read children) were creating meticulous designs.  So it’s possible!

The other tip of the pen selects objects for your own collection, coming complete with text, for later delight.

Once I got the the trick down for making the wand scan easily, thanks to a helpful guard, I filled my basket really full.  Before leaving the museum, I then dropped the pen in a plexiglass case.  The pens are collected by a museum employee who downloads the images to a folder on the website that’s all mine.  And there they all were when I visited the website later!

New meaning to the game I typically play–what one object would you take home from this exhibit or museum?  No reason at the Cooper-Hewitt to stop at one.  Perfect for those of you who live in small spaces or lust after being a collector, but are on a budget.

Masdar Mosque (unbuilt), 2009

Masdar Mosque (unbuilt), 2009

Short red contoured cylindrical form reminiscent of a child's toy top; shallow bowl-shaped seat; pointed base, causing form to sit at an angle.I went nuts for the exhibit of Thomas Heatherwick.  If only the yacht or mosque were brought to fruition.  Every design is worth a study, and videos sometimes demonstrate the magic.

Like Spun the chair here.  Love it, although I think I’d be very dizzy.



Don’t miss the glass bridge and expanding furniture and the Learning Hub.  Seriously, every one is worth a slow look.

Boat (not Yet Realized), 2011

Boat (not Yet Realized), 2011

Indigo-dyed wrapper patterned with stitched resist. The field has a checkerboard layout of alternating design squares, one containing a pyramid-like shape of stacked lines, and the other a sunburst or snowflake pattern surrounded by dots. End borders have a simple dot pattern. The lines are created by overcast stitching, the dots by simple tie-dye.

African indigo-dyed wrapper

Since I’ve been weaving, I was really attracted to the textiles and patterned papers.  African, and especially the collection of French rococo wallpaper of the Hewitt sisters.

Arabesque with two scenes: one of hunting party of three on horse, the other of landscape with architecture; surround of acanthus scrolls and floral swags. Printed on joined sheets of handmade paper.

Arabesque on handmade paper

Cabinet on stand with floral marquetry veneer. Cabinet fronted by two large doors with brass lock plates that open to reveal twelve small interior drawers, each with brass pull, and one cupboard door with brass lock plate, all veneered with floral marquetry. Long narrow drawer in cornice molding on top. Stand has long narrow drawer with two brass pulls and one lock plate, supported by six scrolled legs with curved stretchers and bun feet with metal casters.

Cabinet on stand with floral marquetry veneer, c1675-1700

And the teapots, fans, bandboxes, inlaid furniture, jewelry, and birdcages the sisters collected.  I like their taste.
Green painted wooden frame with metal wires, modeled after the Rialto Bridge. Intricate wire scrollwork; four doors; two feed cups; hinged panel at either end for removal of trays (trays missing).

Rialto Bridge Birdcage

How about this?  Braille wallpaper.  I was mesmerized and really wanted to touch!
Seemingly irregularly placed red flocked dots which form letters of the Braille alphabet, spelling out the "listen and record" process used in creating this design.

Spells out the “listen and record” process used in creating this design

Okay?  What one object would I bring home?  It would have to be something practical for my small space.  So how about a radiator cover?
Black cast iron radiator (b) in the form of a podium surmounted by an arch forming a niche for a standing draped figure (a) of a woman- the goddess Hebe- holding a Greek drinking goblet in either hand (d,e). A composite entablature is surmounted by a Doric cornice crowned by a semi-circular tympanum. The podium base is decorated with bas-reliefs of columns alternating with Greek vases surrounded by drapery at the lower level and repeated scene of a griffin and man pouring liquid into a bowl in the upper level. The arch itself is decorated with bas-reliefs of rosettes and scrolls on two supporting pilasters with fluted capitals. The tympanum has a bas-relief of an eagle clutching a staff from which springs ribbons bearing "Stratton" and Seymour". Stars decorate tympanum, following the semi-circular curve. Radiator stands on four detachable scrolled legs (f/i). The fender (c) is comprised of grille work formed by scrolls, acanthus leaves and rosettes. Flat circular flue key (j) with stylized foliate handle fits on pipe behind tympanum.

Black cast iron radiator cover with the goddess Hebe- holding a Greek drinking goblet

For the sheer pleasure of a seamless, pleasurable meld of good-looking objects and technology, add the Cooper Hewitt to your list.

One thought on “Tech Pleasures

  1. What a day and what an incredible variety. I would take a number of other items, especially the bird cage (even tho I don’t have a bird). But, far too many good choices. Loved the Guggenheim downward view.

Comments are closed.