Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1936

  • Work on this object began.

2018

2019

  • You found it!

Tablecloth, Food for Thought, 1936

This is a Tablecloth.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from Virginia Bayer as part of Tablescapes: Designs for Dining.

It is dated 1936. Its medium is cotton.

These “talking” tablecloths reveal Mergentime’s strength as a graphic designer in her creative use of typography and careful composition of text in its relationship to the table and diner. Her textiles were expressive, capturing the essence of a word or phrase through a signature or typeface. In Food Quiz, questions with their answers were jumbled, leaving it up to the diners 1939to make the correct matches (answers were highlighted). Food for Thought, produced for Lord & Taylor, was a true test for American history buffs with answers contained in an accompanying booklet.

It is credited Courtesy of Mergentime Family Archive.

Its dimensions are

L x W: 134 × 134 cm (52 3/4 × 52 3/4 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tablescapes: Designs for Dining.

This object may be subject to Copyright or other restrictions.

You are welcome to make fair use of this image under U.S. Copyright law and in compliance with our terms of use. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

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/2318793342/ |title=Tablecloth, Food for Thought, 1936 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 May 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>