Tap on the line above to enter the brochure. In my judgment based on my experience, this is the most exciting, decorative museum brochure I have ever seen. It is interactive. Touch an area like “Exhibitions” and the brochure goes to that page or any other page so that you can view the entire brochure detailing the re-opening of the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum. In recent years, this Museum has become one of more than a dozen museums under the aegis of the Smithsonian.
Several years since my essay on the life and work of Richard Schermerhorn, Jr., appeared in Shaping the American Landscape, ed. Chas. Birnbaum (UVA Press 2008), I began receiving regular communications from the Cooper-Hewitt. I now know why. The newly released official history of the Museum includes the story of New York landscape architect Richard Schermerhorn, Jr.’s role in the design of the Terrace and Gardens. My work is cited in the book four times. The author attempted to speak with me, but, alas, my law practiced caused us to miss each other like ships passing in the night. If you type my full name in the brochure, it appears four times. I’m an incurable lawyer/academic. I am so pleased to have played but a small part in the Museum’s official history.
Although the Smithsonian has given the Cooper-Hewitt considerable cache over the years, federal financial support to underwright Museum operations has been eliminated. Today, the Cooper-Hewitt and other Smithsonian museums must rely on support from foundations, corporations, and individuals to pay operating expenses.
The Smithsonian began a hundred years ago when James Smithson, a British citizen who had never visited the United States left a considerable inheritance to America for Museum documenting America.