What a lovely surprise in every way. I have never been to The Cooper Hewitt before and now I want to live there. Located in an a converted mansion on 91st Street, the museum displays the extensive collections of the two Miss Hewitts, granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper. The collection is displayed in a way that I kept moving forward. There washy anything i didn’t want to look at, and a few prize pieces I would have liked to bring home. With a wide open feeling, large bright rooms and plenty to look at I suspect I will return.
I am often critical of museums and their attempts to label, teach, displays and engage the visitor. But here, at the Cooper Hewitt they did a marvelous job. In each room you could find an explanation for what you were seeing, but you didn’t need to read it to understand. Most objects were displayed with the relevant explanation. Of course, as the objects were beautiful and familiar, explanation wasn’t always necessary.
One thing I loved was the electronic pen they gave me as I walked in. Touch it to one of the explanation postings and when i got home, i was able to use the code on my admission ticket to explore again the things I had found most interesting.
Tucked back on the way to the gift shop was a small open closet in which you could view and read about the archiving and storage of objects. Now I want to live here and be an archivist.