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Nestled in the vibrant cityscape of New York, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum stands as a testament to creativity, innovation, and the power of design. As part of the esteemed Smithsonian Institution, it holds a unique position as the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Learn more here.

History and Origins:

Established in 1897 by sisters Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt, granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper, the museum initially served as a learning resource for the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Over the years, its collection expanded exponentially, encompassing various design disciplines ranging from textiles and fashion to digital media and interactive installations. Learn more about Exploring the Scenic Splendor of Carl Schurz Park in New York City.

Location and Architecture:

Situated in the historic Carnegie Mansion on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the museum’s physical space is as impressive as its contents. Designed by renowned architect Andrew Carnegie and completed in 1902, the mansion’s elegant Beaux-Arts architecture provides a fitting backdrop for the museum’s diverse exhibits.

Collections and Exhibits:

With over 210,000 objects in its collection, Cooper Hewitt offers visitors a comprehensive exploration of design history and its impact on society. From iconic pieces by legendary designers such as Charles and Ray Eames to cutting-edge contemporary works, the museum’s exhibits showcase the evolution of design across cultures and time periods.

Educational Initiatives:

In addition to its role as a repository of design history, Cooper Hewitt is committed to fostering creativity and design literacy among visitors of all ages. Through interactive workshops, lectures, and educational programs, the museum provides valuable insights into the design process and encourages visitors to engage with design in meaningful ways.


As a bastion of design excellence and innovation, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum continues to inspire and educate audiences from around the world. With its rich history, diverse collections, and commitment to education, it remains a vital cultural institution in the heart of New York City.