Cooper Hewitt Announces Formal Establishment Of Digital Curatorial Department

Gerard Ortiz

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Structure Museum these days declared the formal establishment of the Digital curatorial division, which will gather and treatment for born-digital work. This new gathering section will be led by Andrea Lipps, the founding head of digital, who will frame, create and deal with the digital collection and its stewardship. The Electronic section is the to start with entirely new collecting section at Cooper Hewitt in extra than 125 a long time. Established in 1897, the museum’s assortment has traditionally been structured in 4 curatorial departments: Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design and style Solution Layout and Decorative Arts Wallcoverings and Textiles.

“Digital design will proceed to radically improve how we interact with the globe and with just about every other in essential methods,” mentioned Maria Nicanor, director of Cooper Hewitt. “Museums need to have to be at the heart of this discussion, so I am delighted to create Digital as the museum’s fifth curatorial department in recognition of the vital operate that Cooper Hewitt has led in this spot of style above the decades. Andrea is an absolutely fantastic curator, and the excellent human being to lead this new division. A believed leader in the area of rising digital collections, she also brings a solid cross-disciplinary knowledge to the situation that is critical to comprehension how digital function interacts with the relaxation of the design and style fields.”

As a content structure, born-electronic design—work that originates and exists digitally—is amid the most fast increasing realms of design and style follow. Conversation structure, facts visualization, application style, web style and design, data architecture, recreation layout, digital animation, born-electronic typography, interface layout, artificial intelligence and extra are central locations of style and design innovation weaved into people’s everyday experiences. 

“Digital perform challenges us to rethink museum procedures all over collecting, stewardship and screen,” Lipps claimed. “We are building new and thrilling techniques of preservation and presentation although envisioning ways to offer increased general public obtain to this selection. I’m thrilled the museum has formalized the Electronic division, positioning us to efficiently and responsibly accumulate born-electronic function, and I’m honored to guide these endeavours.”

At the moment, the museum retains just about 70 file- and code-centered electronic works in its Digital section, like knowledge visualizations, electronic typefaces, website-centered interactive will work, icons and emojis, internet sites and much more. Conservator Jessica Walthew, along with digital-conservation contractors, have been instrumental in overseeing the challenging get the job done of stewarding this youthful assortment. As a result of the museum’s Collections Committee, the Digital office will proceed to increase Cooper Hewitt’s electronic assortment. 


Lipps is head of Electronic and associate curator of contemporary style and design at Cooper Hewitt, where by she potential customers the museum’s efforts to collect and care for new media forms in its lasting assortment and innovates scholarship in the discipline. She also co-chairs the museum’s Responsive Collecting Initiative. Lipps additional conceives and organizes bold, award-winning exhibitions, most lately “Nature—Cooper Hewitt Layout Triennial” in 2019, “The Senses: Design and style Over and above Vision” in 2018, “Joris Laarman Lab: Design and style in the Electronic Age” in 2017 and, in 2016, “Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design and style Triennial.” An accomplished writer and editor, she authors and edits publications, essays and scholarly content articles on modern day structure and digital collecting. Lipps is a common checking out critic, lecturer and thesis advisor, participates on international layout juries, and she regularly moderates and speaks at situations, symposia and educational conferences on modern day layout and curatorial exercise.

ABOUT THE Assortment

In 1897, Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt founded a museum in just Cooper Union with four amassing categories then regarded as Drawings and Prints Ornamental Arts Wallcoverings and Textiles. More than the several years, the Drawings and Prints office additional Graphic Style less than its purview and Merchandise Design was integrated under Ornamental Arts.  

Because its founding, the mission of the assortment has been to emphasize background, innovation, system, approach, use, aesthetics and social context. These days, the museum retains one of the world’s most diverse layout collections, which features above 215,000 objects that span 30 hundreds of years.


Cooper Hewitt is America’s style museum. Inclusive, ground breaking and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, education and learning packages, master’s application, publications and on the net methods inspire, educate and empower people by means of style and design. An integral component of the Smithsonian Institution—the world’s biggest museum, schooling and exploration complex—Cooper Hewitt is found on New York City’s Museum Mile in the landmarked Carnegie Mansion. Steward of 1 of the world’s most diverse and comprehensive layout collections—over 215,000 objects that array from an historical Egyptian faience cup courting to about 1100 BC to present-day 3D-printed objects and digital code—Cooper Hewitt welcomes anyone to learn the significance of style and its power to change the globe. 

For far more info, pay a visit to or adhere to @cooperhewitt on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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