Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

About this Museum

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, is the only museum in the U.S. devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The institution was founded in 1897 as a study collection for the polytechnic college Cooper Union, intended to educate both designers and consumers on matters of form and function. The collection was acquired by the Smithsonian Institute in the 1960s and was relocated to the historic Andrew Carnegie mansion in the 1970s.

The scope of the Cooper Hewitt collection is immense, encompassing more than 250,000 handcrafted and mass-manufactured objects from antiquity to today, including furniture, products, prints and drawings, wallpaper, and textiles. The collection is particularly strong in exquisite artifacts of bygone eras, such as snuffboxes, hatboxes, toiletry bottles, and hand-carved buttons. The Cooper Hewitt annually sponsors the National Design Awards, which honor excellence in American design. The museum recently underwent major renovations to expand its exhibition space by sixty percent; it was closed for nearly three years, and reopened in December 2014.

Museum Details

2 E 91st St, NY 10128, New York

The museum is currently closed for renovation.