EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP: One hundred twenty media types toured the empty galleries of the newly refurbished Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum on Monday. During the nearly hourlong tour of what was once Andrew Carnegie’s Beaux-Arts mansion, guests learned there is now 17,000 square feet of exhibition, which means visitors will see much more of the 200,000-plus objects in the permanent collection among other things.
In what was once Mrs. Carnegie’s bedroom, teak floors have been installed with a bordered herringbone pattern to reflect the similar pattern she once had. The herringbone detail was not needed where her bedroom rug anchored the room — a cost cutting measure by the steel industrialist’s wife. The Lockwood de Forest-designed Teak Room slowed down renovations because workers literally used Q-tips and water to clean every inch of the space including the glazed textile .
Dressed in a futuristic patterned Cusnie Et Ochs dress, Caroline Baumann, the museum’s director, said that fashion will work its way into upcoming exhibitions after the museums reopens in mid-December. Noting the — as “massive for us.” Baumann said, “I wish we had kept that open for months. We had lines out-the-door for the Rodarte show so we will definitely have more shows like that.”
And the fashion-friendly architectural firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro has designed the museum’s new retail space, which is considerably larger than the previous one and accessible through the garden so that non museum-goers might become frequent shoppers.