Tag Archives: New York Historical Society

Eye On Design: Workbox School Desk

Workbox School Desk
All Photos By Gail

A proposed remedy for problems faced by crowded New York City classrooms, the Workbox (2000) is a collapsible elementary school desk featuring a side blackboard for sanctioned graffiti and a private locker to stow clothes, preventing the spread of lice.

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Eye On Design: Tiffany Turtleback Lantern

Tiffany Turtleback Lantern
All Photos By Gail

Tiffany artisans made the irregularly surfaced Turtlebacks, a Tiffany Studio invention, by pressing glass into molds.

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Stewart Studio Graffiti Door

Stewart Studio Graffiti Door
All Photos By Gail

Vision or vandalism? New Yorkers had different reactions to the “tags” scrawled on subway trains in the 1970s. Many saw them as a sign of urban blight. Artist and photographer Jack Stewart saw them as a new American Art Form.

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Eye On Design: Tiffany Wisteria Lamps Designed by Clara Driscoll

Tiffany Wisteria Lamps
Photo By Gail

One of Tiffany Studios‘ most popular models, the Wisteria, was priced as $400 in 1906, placing it among the firm’s most costly lamps. The glass selection for the two lamps (both circa 1901) seen in the above photo created two dramatically different interpretations of the same design. One has a refined color palette ranging from pale blue to azure and cobalt, while the other displays bold contrasts of blue and white clusters.

Wisteria abounded in LC Tiffany’s leaded glass windows and on the grounds of his country estate, Laurelton Hall, and although the vine was a Tiffany favorite, Clara Driscoll’s correspondence identifies her as the designer of the iconic Wisteria lamp, which is composed of nearly 2,000 tiny pieces of glass. Designs for the Trumpet Creeper, Grape, and Apple Blossom, each sold with the same treelike base, followed shortly after the Wisteria.

Photographed in the New York Historical Society on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Norman Rockwell, The Problem We All Live With

The Problem We All Live With
All Photos By Gail

After resigning from his forty-seven year tenure with The Saturday Evening Post in 1963, Norman Rockwell (18941978) embraced the challenge of addressing the nation’s pressing concerns in pared down, reportorial style. The Problem We All Live With (1963), his illustration for Look magazine, is based upon an actual event, when six-year-old Ruby Bridges was escorted by US Marshalls to her first day at an all-white New Orleans school. Rockwell’s depiction of the vulnerable but dignified girl clearly condemns the actions of those who protest her presence and object to desegregation.

White Dress
White Dress Worn By Model Lynda Gunn

Rockwell commissioned this white dress, and two others like it, in different sizes from a local Stockbridge, Massachusetts seamstress. He was not sure yet of the age or size of his model, and he typically posed several people in the same role before deciding who best fit the part. For the child in The Problem We All Live With, he ultimately selected his neighbor, Lynda Gunn.

All Photos Taken at The New York Historical Society in Manhattan.