Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum
The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution is the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to contemporary and historic design. It is located at 2 East 91st Street, at the corner of 91st Street and 5th Avenue, in New York City's Museum Mile. It was by Eleanor, Sarah, and Amy Hewitt in 1897 and has been a branch of the Smithsonian Institution since 1967. The museum is housed in the historic Andrew Carnegie Mansion. The campus consisted of two historic townhouses, currently undergoing renovations, and a beautiful garden and unique terrace. The museum is within walking distance of many area hotels.
The mission of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Is to advance the public's understanding of design, represented through the museum's collection of works from the last 2,400 years. The international collection has over 250,000 design objects and one of the most comprehensive design libraries in the world. The collection includes both contemporary an historical exhibits of mass produced and unique items including: drawings, prints, graphic design textiles, photography, wall coverings, product design, and decorative arts. There are important design archives from Gilbert Rohde, Donald Deskey, and Henry Dreyfus. The areas of focus are decorative arts, graphic design, architecture, and industrial design.
The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum draws visitors from all over the world. Wit a quarter million items in the collection, the museum has something of interest for everyone. Designers can enrich their professional knowledge and experience. Students and historians have access to items to use as primary resources for research. Writers can create more historical authenticity in their work by seeing objects firsthand. Collectors and dealers can learn from the collection to expand their understanding and develop expertise. Artists draw inspiration from contemporary and historical works. Art lovers will appreciate the collection for the aesthetic qualities. The collection cannot be seen in one day, so it might be a good idea to arrange accommodations at a nearby hotel.
Each year, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum sponsors the prestigious National Design Awards to recognize excellence and innovation in American design. This is the highest design award, which also servers to reinforce the position of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum as the educational authority and premier museum for design study in the United States.
The museum is easily accessible by public transportation by Fifth and Madison Avenue buses or the Lexington Avenue 4, 5, and 6 subways. Visitors should enter through the main entrance on 91st Street. Push the button to open the automated front door then take the staff operated elevator to the 8th floor admissions desk.