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Cooper Hewitt Museum

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The Cooper Hewitt Museum is home to a delightfully eclectic collection, which includes textiles, furniture, graphic prints, and much more. As if the contents of the design museum's massive digital collection were not enticing enough on their own, the Cooper Hewitt has created this website that allows visitors to explore this collection in a number of interesting - and sometimes whimsical - ways. In addition, we love the impressive volume of this collection: as of this May 2018 write-up, the Cooper Hewitt's digital collection contains over 200,000 items.

Warning - this site is seriously fun! The Cooper Hewitt has placed digital representations of its "diverse collection spanning thirty centuries of historic and contemporary design" on its website and there are some interesting ways to search. For starters, it's possible to search by color. This is because digital images showing collection objects have been cataloged by color, assigned by automated scanning that "averages" an object's colors. The resulting averaged colors are in turn mapped to the system of specifying color by alphanumeric codes that's used in web design, thus creating searchable colors for the collection. For example, clicking the swatch labeled Firebrick, hexcode #b22222, retrieves 318 objects such as a playing card, the 7 of hearts; a Fiestaware teacup dating from 1936; a 1973 political poster, "Down with the Chilean Dictatorship"; or a mid-twentieth century Italian glass bowl with deep red stripes. Other ways to search include by country, department, people, or within publications. There's also a search by highlights of the collection: architect's eye, designs for automobiles, designs for interiors, psychedelic posters, and more. Keyword searches are also possible - try Eames.
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2018-05-25
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