At the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am honored today to officially present an important piece of history – a part of the original wallpaper from the United Nations Security Council Chamber – to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
The wallpaper by renowned textile artist Else Poulsson was a gift from the Kingdom of Norway to the UN in 1952.
As the most important design museum in the US, your role as curators and custodians of Design History is internationally recognized. We are proud that today the textile by Else Poulsson becomes a part of your permanent collection, alongside work by the world’s most influential designers.
Poulsson created a blue and yellow damask tapestry to cover the walls of the Security Council Chamber. Her pattern symbolizes the anchors of faith, the growing wheat of hope, and the hearts of charity. When we think back on the early aspirations of the UN and how the headquarters in New York has influenced the world - these first inscriptions of peace into the very fabric of the walls of the Security Council Chamber are very moving.
I want to thank Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt for today’s celebration, and the Cooper Hewitt staff for organizing this event, and to congratulate you on the reopening of the museum December last year. I hope this is the start of an even closer collaboration between the museum and Norwegian designers.
In Norway, we are fortunate to have a new generation of young talented designers, some of them with us here today, who continue to thrive both in Norway and internationally.
Hopefully in a few years’ time, some of them might also have a home here in your important collection.