About The Museum
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The Museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational and curatorial programming. It is the mission of Cooper-Hewitt’s staff and Board of Trustees to advance the public understanding of design across the twenty-four centuries of human creativity represented by the Museum’s collection.
The Museum was founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor, and Sarah Hewitt—granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper—as part of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. A branch of the Smithsonian since 1967, Cooper-Hewitt is housed in the landmark Andrew Carnegie Mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The campus also includes two historic townhouses renovated with state-of-the-art conservation technology and a unique terrace and garden.
Cooper-Hewitt’s collections include more than 250,000 design objects and a world-class design library. Its exhibitions, in-depth educational programs, and on-site, degree-granting master’s program explore the process of design, both historic and contemporary. As part of its mission, Cooper- Hewitt annually sponsors the National Design Awards, a prestigious program which honors innovation and excellence in American design. Together, these resources and programs reinforce Cooper-Hewitt’s position as the preeminent museum and educational authority for the study of design in the United States.
Wyss Institute Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection is curated by members of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, led by its founding director, Don Ingber, working in collaboration with his co-facult…Read More »
Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master marks the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, in 1919 and features rare works by the groundbreaking 20th-century graphic designer Herbert Bayer. On view in the second-floor permanent collection g…Read More »
Designers are forging meaningful connections with nature, inspired by its properties and resources. Their collaborative processes—working with nature and in teams across multiple disciplines—are optimistic responses at this moment when hu…Read More »
Presented in Cooper Hewitt’s Process Lab, Face Values: Exploring Artificial Intelligence is an immersive installation that explores the pervasive but often hidden role of facial-detection technology in contemporary society. This high-tech, prov…Read More »
Passion For The Exotic: Louis Comfort Tiffany And Lockwood De ForestPassion for the Exotic is a series of exhibitions featuring Cooper Hewitt’s collection. This exhibition highlights works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) in the context of …Read More »
Fragile Beasts features nearly 70 rarely seen ornament prints and drawings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that are part of Cooper Hewittâ€™s permanent collection andÂ Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library.Within the confines of orn…Read More »
For the next installment of the museumâ€™s Selects series, fashion designer Thom Browne explores ideas of reflection and individuality with an installation that includes more than 50 of the museumâ€™s historic and contemporary mirrors and frames. The…Read More »
Architect David Adjaye presents 14 West and Central African textiles from the museumâ€™s permanent collection in the latest installment of the Selects series. On view in the renovated Marks Gallery on the museumâ€™s first floor, the exhibition is the…Read More »
Presented in the museumâ€™s Process Lab, â€œPixar: The Design of Storyâ€ will examine the design process behind Pixar Animation Studios and films such as Toy Story, Wall-E, Up, Brave, The Incredibles, and Cars, among others. Focusing on the process …Read More »
The fifth installment of the museumâ€™s popular contemporary design exhibition series, â€œBeautyâ€ celebrates design as a creative endeavor that engages the mind, body, and senses. With a focus on aesthetic innovation, the exhibition will feature mo…Read More »
Why do tools come into being? And why do they look the way they do? We all use toolsâ€”to work and measure and communicate, to observe and make and survive. Tools are extensions of ourselves, designed to help us overcome the limitations of our bodies…Read More »
How Posters Work shows how dozens of different designersâ€”from prominent pioneers like Herbert Matter, Paul Rand, Philippe Apeloig and M/M (Paris), to lesser-known makersâ€”have mobilized principles of composition, perception and storytelling to con…Read More »
For this exhibition, author, artist, and designer Maira Kalman fills the former first-floor Drawing Room of the Carnegie Mansion, with 40 objects from Cooper Hewitt, the National Museum of American History, and her personal collection to suggest the …Read More »
Provocations is the first museum exhibition to introduce the imaginative work of British designer Thomas Heatherwick and his London-based studio to an American audience. Heatherwick is known for his unique design concepts ranging from products, infra…Read More »