Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Cooper–Hewitt, National Design Museum, a subsidiary of the Smithsonian Institution, is the United States' national museum of design history and contemporary design and the only museum in the U.S. whose collection is solely focused on contemporary and historic design. The museum is located in the former Andrew Carnegie Mansion at Fifth Avenue and East 91st Street, part of Manhattan's Museum Mile. In addition to its permanent collection and regular exhibits, the museum presents the annual National Design Awards in more than ten categories, "celebrating the best in American design." The Museum also offers a Master of Arts program in the History of Decorative Arts and Design in cooperation with Parsons The New School for Design.

The main museum building is the Andrew Carnegie Mansion, completed in 1903, a National Historic Landmark. Andrew Carnegie, the American steel magnate and philanthropist, lived there until his death in 1919, and the neighborhood in which the museum is located became known as Carnegie Hill. The Carnegie Corporation gave the house and property to the Smithsonian in 1972, and the modern incarnation of the Museum opened there as a Smithsonian Institution in 1976.

In 1995, the building was renovated to improve the study center and provide handicapped access following a re-branding and re-naming the previous year. The interior was redesigned by the architectural firm, Polshek and Partners, headed by James Polshek in 2001.

The Museum contains more than 250,000 objects ranging from Han Dynasty objects to the present; it is organized into four curatorial departments: Product Design and Decorative Arts, Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design, Textiles, and Wallcoverings. The museum also houses the National Design Library, containing 70,000 volumes. Among its holdings, Cooper-Hewitt possesses a Michelangelo drawing for a seven-branched candelabrum. It was identified in the Museum's drawings collection by Sir Timothy Clifford, director of the National Galleries of Scotland, while on a sabbatical at the museum in April 2002.

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