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Posts Tagged ‘Smithsonian

“Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated”*…

 

Late-19th-century earrings incorporating real hummingbird heads

Home to drawings, textiles, jewelry, furniture, and thousands of other design objects, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is taking increased advantage of the internet’s digital real estate. The museum recently completed a massive digitization project that places almost its entire collection online; nearly 200,000 objects are now accessible and searchable, allowing online visitors to see just how rich its holdings are. Many of these works currently reside in the institution’s storage facility, so the project is a means of placing them in the public eye on a platform that also offers background information on each one…

Whitehead & Hoag Company, “Cawston Ostrich Farm, South Pasadena, California” (c. 1900)

More at “From Tiny Stairs to Taxidermy Earrings, 200,000 Objects from Cooper Hewitt Go Online“; dive into the collection here.

* Paul Rand

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As we shake out the duster, we might recall that it was on this date in 1940 that a teenager named Marcel Ravidat discovered the entrance to Lascaux Caves in southwest France.  Following a dog down the narrow entrance and into the cavern, Ravidat and three friends came upon (part of) the now-storied collection of wall markings– 15,000- to 17,000-year-old paintings, consisting mostly of animal representations– that are among the world’s finest examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic period.

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Written by LW

September 12, 2016 at 1:01 am

Pi in the sky…

Source

As we watch sheep chase ice cream cones across the summer sky, we might recall that on this date in 1974, at 8:01 a.m., a “10-Pak” of Juicy Fruit chewing gum with a bar code printed on it was passed over a scanner at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio– and became the first product ever logged under the new Universal Product Code (UPC) computerized recognition system.

Sharon Buchanan (pictured above 30 yrs later) performed the first ever bar code scan when she rang up this 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum, which is now at the Smithsonian.  (source)

Crèche or credit card?…

Readers may recall that L. Frank Baum was famous before he wrote The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz— he was a celebrity in the then-emerging world of consumer marketing, one of the first great window dressers.

Baum’s art flourished as retailing grew, finding its apotheosis on the Christmas displays that graced department stores around America.  Now, thanks to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, readers can take a stroll past the Holiday windows and Christmas store displays of yore…

Giant Christmas candle carousels, Marshall Field & Company, main aisle, Chicago, about 1956

Take the (online version of the) trip at “Holidays on Display” (and see William Bird’s book of the same title).

As we channel Ralphie’s Red Ryder lust, we might  raise a cup of testimony tea to Emily Dickinson, who was better known during her life as a gardener and botanist than as a poet; only 7 of her 1775 poems were published in her lifetime– which began on this date in 1830.

The Maid of Amherst

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