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Object Timeline

1930

  • Work on this object began.

1952

  • We acquired this object.

1991

2012

2013

2015

2017

  • You found it!

Drawing, Design for a Skyscraper, 1930

This is a Drawing. It was designed by Ely Jacques Kahn and from the office of Buchman and Kahn. It is dated 1930 and we acquired it in 1952. Its medium is graphite with fixative on tracing paper mounted on cardboard. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Beaux-Arts-trained architect Ely Jacques Kahn, known for his embrace of New York’s commercial development, drew this skyscraper proposal in the midst of the city’s building boom. Kahn emphasized the building's sixty-five-story height through vertical lines, and in the drawing, by its central placement looming over the city. The domed peak suggests the building had soared to its vertical limit. Kahn’s graphite rendering, with its atmospheric shadowing and its isolated form, further demonstrates the power of the architectural drawing as an advertising tool, an alluring image that suggests the futuristic and other-worldly quality of Kahn’s proposed design.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Celebrating the Commercial Building.

This object was donated by Ely Jacques Kahn and catalogued by Julia Pastor, KH, Megan L. Smith and E. Maurice Bloch. It is credited Gift of Ely Jacques Kahn..

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Its dimensions are

62.5 × 40 cm (24 5/8 × 15 3/4 in.) Mat: 71.1 × 55.9 cm (28 × 22 in.)

It is signed

Inscribed in graphite, lower margin center: BUCHMAN AND KAHN, ARCH'T'S

It is inscribed

Inscribed in graphite, lower margin center: BUCHMAN AND KAHN, ARCH'T'S

Cite this object as

Drawing, Design for a Skyscraper, 1930; Designed by Ely Jacques Kahn (American, 1884 - 1972); USA; graphite with fixative on tracing paper mounted on cardboard; 62.5 × 40 cm (24 5/8 × 15 3/4 in.) Mat: 71.1 × 55.9 cm (28 × 22 in.); Gift of Ely Jacques Kahn.; 1952-15-13

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18390641/ |title=Drawing, Design for a Skyscraper, 1930 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 March 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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