New York

United States

2 East 91st Street
Phone: 212-849-8400

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The Museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational and curatorial programming. It is the mission of Cooper-Hewitt’s staff and Board of Trustees to advance the public understanding of design across the twenty-four centuries of human creativity represented by the Museum’s collection.

Permanent Collection

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s collection is international in scope, includes both historic and contemporary design, and extends from one-of-a-kind to mass-produced items.

The collection encompasses the rich holdings of the Museum’s Library, Archives, and four curatorial departments: Product Design and Decorative Arts; Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design; Textiles; and Wallcoverings. Designers seeking inspiration for new product lines draw ideas from the diversity of the collection. Scholars and students exploring the history of design use the collection as a primary resource. Writers seeking historical authenticity refer to them for firsthand experience of objects. Collectors—novice and seasoned—use the collection to expand their understanding and develop their expertise.


"Design Life Now: National Design Triennial 2006" brings together the experimental designs and emerging ideas—including animation, new media, and fashion, robotics, architecture, product, medical, and graphic design—at the center of American culture from 2003 to 2006.

"Made to Scale" presents the Eugene Thaw collection of staircase models, which is the largest known collection of these works outside of France. The models, the majority of them from 19th-century France, represented exercises in technical virtuosity, demanding knowledge of cantilevering, balance, forms of rotation, styles of balusters and other architectural details. In their combination of design, structural, architectural and cabinetry skills, the staircase models and accompanying drawings demonstrate the relationship between formal training, modeling, technical mastery and flights of creative fancy.

Previous Exhibitions

Please see for information on past exhibitions.

Forthcoming exhibitions

"Design for the Other 90%" highlights the growing trend among designers to create affordable and socially responsible objects for the vast majority of the world's population (90 percent) not traditionally serviced by professional designers. Organized by exhibition curator Cynthia E. Smith, along with an eight-member advisory council, the exhibition is divided into sections focusing on food, water, shelter, health and sanitation, education, energy and transportation and highlights objects developed to empower global populations surviving under the poverty level or recovering from a natural disaster.

For "IDEO Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection," design firm IDEO organizes works from the permanent collection around the theme of "design thinking," displaying objects such as an array of flashlights from the 1940s-1990s, showing diverse designs for portable lighting; a 19th-century textile panel with instructions for making hand shadow figures; a cane with pull-out map; the 1940s “Silver Streak


Adults: $12
Students/seniors: $9
Cooper-Hewitt and Smithsonian members: free

Opening hours

Monday–Thursday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sunday: Noon–6 p.m.
Garden entrance on 90th Street open May–September (weather permitting)
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day

Getting there

Public transit routes include the Lexington Avenue 4, 5, and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street Stations), and Fifth and Madison Avenue buses.


The Museum is fully accessible to visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. The Museum has wheelchairs available for visitors on a first-come/first-serve basis.

There are no designated parking spaces near the Museum for people with disabilities.

The Museum's main entrance on 91st Street is accessible by ramp. The front door is automated and can be opened with the touch of a button. Once inside, the Admissions desk of the Museum is reached by a staff-operated elevator or a flight of eight stairs.There are self-service elevators for moving between galleries and accessing the Café and Garden.

Restrooms and more
All public restrooms, banks of telephones, and water fountains are at accessible heights.

For more information, please call 212.849.8400.

Museum internal and external photos (3)

Click on the images to enlarge


Cooper-Hewitt’s dynamic educational programs provide insight into the ways in which design shapes our lives every day, encouraging us to understand how design can best be used to shape a positive future.

Many of the Museum’s programs present “design


Guided Group Visits
An experienced team of guides provides tours of the Museum’s exhibitions and encourages an informal exchange of ideas with a variety of adult and university groups.

Fee for adult groups: $100 per guide (up to 15 people), plus admission.

Fee for university groups: $100 per guide (up to 15 people). Larger groups will be divided into smaller sections, each with its own guide.

For more information or to book a tour, please call 212.849.8351 or email Reservations for guided tours must be made at least four weeks in advance. Advance payment is required.


Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the only museum in the United States devoted solely to historic and contemporary design. With more than 250,000 objects, the Museum holds the largest design collection in the country. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through dynamic exhibitions, educational programs, and publications. Membership enhances your enjoyment of the Museum and understanding of design. Become a member today and discover the many ways design influences your life! Your membership contribution helps us present award-winning exhibitions and educational programming, protect our collection, and maintain our landmark mansion and garden.

For more information, please contact the Membership Office:


Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is seeking support for its exhibitions, education programs, and National Design Awards from corporations, foundations, and individuals. Recognition for your support is significant, including acknowledgement on signage in and around the Museum, paid advertising, and promotional and educational materials produced specifically for the programs.

Please contact Anne Shisler-Hughes at 212-849-8393 for more information on sponsorship opportunities.

Venue hire

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum provides a unique venue and premier accommodations for a wide range of events, from intimate dinners to large receptions. Exclusive exhibition viewings and private tours for your guests are also available.

Become a Corporate Member or Exhibition Sponsor and enjoy the privilege of hosting your Special Events in New York City's most distinctive event space.

Our creative, experienced event staff will help you plan gatherings that are elegant and memorable. For additional information, contact the Special Events office at 212.849.8341 or by email at