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The Art of Decoration: Drawings and Objects from the Collection of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum

DATES December 19, 1973 through February 03, 1974
  • December 6, 1973 An exceptional exhibition of decorative arts selected from the vast collections of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York opens to the public at The Brooklyn Museum on December 19. Comprised of more than 200 works, the exhibition will include drawings, textiles and wallpapers from the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. It will remain on view through February 3, 1974.

    Drawings form the largest portion of the exhibition and these, with few exceptions, are Italian, French or English. The Cooper-Hewitt’s drawing collection is by far the most extensive in the United States and stands among the foremost collections of design drawings in the world. The selection here focuses on architectural renderings and designs for textiles, metalwork, porcelains and furniture. It includes several drawings executed for the Brighton Pavillion by Frederick Crace, for the Palais Royale by Oppenord and for the Fenice Theater in Venice.

    The selection of textiles from the Cooper-Hewitt Collections covers the same historical period as the drawings and features non-woven openwork, waistcoats and printed fabrics principally from England, France and Italy.

    The balance of the exhibition is devoted to European and American wallpapers. Several “bandboxes” covered with wallpaper of 19th century American origin provide interesting social commentary on the period with commemorative illustrations of American heroes and historic events.

    The Art of Decoration comes to Brooklyn after a three month showing this past summer at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum was closed to the public in 1970. Recently, the Museum moved to its present location, the former home of Andrew Carnegie at 90th Street and Fifth Avenue. After being converted into a modern museum facility, the Museum will reopen to the public in late 1974 as the National Museum of Design of the Smithsonian Institution.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1973, 029-30.
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