One of the things I miss most about living in Manhattan (and Chicago and Providence as well), is convenient proximity to a huge amount of art and design. One of my favorite New York museums is the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. If you are ever looking for inspiration this is a great place to visit. Currently they are hosting an exhibition called Multiple Choice: From Sample to Product which looks completely fascinating! The exhibit looks at sampling media from the Cooper-Hewitt collection and Smithsonian Institution Libraries. From Pantone books, to earthenware plates transfer-printed in rainbow colors, this collection highlights the many beautiful and different ways manufacturers marketed available design options throughout history. The exhibit also connects samples to the final products they inevitably become.
Multiple Choice: From Sample to Product is only running until September 1st of this year. So if I’ve piqued your interest and it’s possible, get there now. Although I do have to say, quite a bit of info and inspiration can be gained just by looking at the exhibit’s website. I do have one question for all you designers, decorators, planners, and artists out there. Have you ever done anything creative or inspirational with an old sample deck, be it one for color, pattern, wall coverings, or paper finish? Do tell!