Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum – Google Cultural Institute
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 programs, exhibitions and publications. Founded in 1897, the museum is housed in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City, which is currently undergoing renovation as part of a $64 million capital campaign that includes enlarged and enhanced facilities for exhibitions, collections display, education programming and the National Design Library, and an increased endowment.
During the renovation, Cooper-Hewitt’s usual schedule of exhibitions, education programs and events will be staged at various off-site locations, including Graphic Design—Now in Production on view at Governors Island in New York from May through September 2012.
International in scope and possessing one of the most diverse and comprehensive collections of design works in existence, the museum’s rich holdings range from the Han Dynasty (200 B.C.) to the present day and total more than 200,000 objects. The museum’s collections are organized in four curatorial departments: Product Design and Decorative Arts; Drawings, Prints and Graphic Design; Textiles; Wallcoverings; and are supported by design archives and a reference library with more than 70,000 volumes, including 5,000 rare books.
The museum’s educational initiatives encompass programs targeted to youth and adults, including lectures, seminars, symposia, workshops, family events and guided exhibition tours. Museum education programs explore the role of design in everyday life, engage larger, more diverse audiences and fulfill the mission of the Hewitt sisters to serve as a catalyst for design education, nationally and internationally.
A center for scholarly and applied research, the museum provides professional development and museum training to students through a graduate-level program in the history of decorative arts conducted in partnership with The Parsons New School for Design. The program, based at Cooper-Hewitt, emphasizes object-based teaching, using the museum’s collections.
In order to extend its reach and impact, Cooper-Hewitt is expanding its online presence, with access to featured works from the museum’s collection and expanded professional development programs for K-12 teachers, including lesson plans aligned to core curriculum, which highlight design as a teaching tool across the curriculum.