Object Timeline

1934

  • Work on this object began.

1938

  • Work on this object ended.

1988

  • We acquired this object.

2013

2014

2017

2020

  • You found it!

Textile, New York Panorama

This is a Textile. It was manufactured by Springs Mills. We acquired it in 1988. Its medium is cotton and its technique is printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles Department department.

The designer and manufacturer of this textile are unknown, but the subject is telling of the cultural climate that produced it. The photo-collage pattern clearly depicts New York City architecture, from older landmarks like the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, to brand new skyscrapers like the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. By depicting dynamic scenes of America’s most glamorous city, seeks to set a distinctively American national style.

The conspicuously factual approach also functioned as a morale booster, much like the murals produced and funded by the Works Progress Administration in the same period. In a time of woeful economic depression, highlighting American accomplishments and industries, and turning them into art, was often meant to inspire pride. The photographic style of the pattern speaks to some of the WPA’s other initiatives, which used photography to document the lives of Americans.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled An Anonymous, Yet Patriotic Textile Design.

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

Cite this object as

Textile, New York Panorama; Manufactured by Springs Mills ; USA; cotton; 1988-55-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18628817/ |title=Textile, New York Panorama |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 March 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>