Cover image for My favorite things
My favorite things
Kalman, Maira.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harper Design, [2014]
Physical Description:
145 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
"In 2011 [the author/artist] was invited by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City to curate an exhibit based on their collection. Like a shopper in some great, mad department store that housed many centuries' worth of objects, [she] browsed and inspected their archives for a year or so. The pieces that [she] chose were based on one thing only-- a gasp of delight."--Introduction.
Introduction: The phone rings -- Part 1. There was a simple and grand life -- Part 2. Not far from the waving trees in Central Park : my favorite things from the Cooper-Hewitt -- Part 3. Coda, or Some other things the author collects and/or likes.
Personal Subject:
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NK460.N4 C6645 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
NK460.N4 C6645 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



From Maira Kalman, the author of the bestsellers The Principles of Uncertainty and The Elements of Style, comes this beautiful pictorial and narrative exploration of the significance of objects in our lives, drawn from her personal artifacts, recollections, and selections from the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

With more than fifty original paintings and featuring bestselling author and illustrator Maira Kalman's signature handwritten prose, My Favorite Things is a poignant and witty meditation on the importance of both quotidian and unusual objects in our culture and private worlds.

Created in the same colorful, engaging, and insightful style as her previous works, which have won her fans around the world, My Favorite Things features more than fifty objects from both the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Kalman's personal collections: the pocket watch Abraham Lincoln was carrying when he was shot, original editions of Winnie-the-Pooh and Alice in Wonderland, a handkerchief in memoriam of Queen Victoria, an Ingo Maurer lamp, Rietveld's Z chair, a pair of Toscanini's pants, and photographs Kalman has taken of people walking towards and away from her. A pictorial index provides photographs of the actual objects and a short description of them, enhancing the reading experience.

As it speaks to the universal experience and importance of beloved objects in our lives--big and small, famous and private--this unique work is a fresh way of examining and understanding our society, history, culture, and ourselves.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Artist Kalman's (Girls Standing on Lawns) latest monograph explores the relationship between objects and memory. The volume coincides with an exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt curated by illustrator, for which she selected her favorite items from the design museum's vast archive. Kalman reproduces some of the objects and reimagines others in impressionist-style paintings; they range from a medieval Egyptian tapestry to Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch and funeral pall. There are also everyday ephemera: a pair of stockings from the late 19th century, pictures of ladies' footwear from a book published in 1885, and a simple lamp shade. Kalman's incorporates quirky commentary into her illustrations, recreating the museum-going experience for readers from inside her own unusual mind. Often the commentary leads into personal memories: Kalman touches poetically on family lore from Belarus and reminisces on growing up in Tel Aviv with a mother so beautiful that "if Tolstoy had been alive, he would have loved her madly." Along with pieces from the museum, Kalman includes objects from her personal archives, such as postcards from the Hotel Celeste in Tunisia and "pants of famous dead conductors" (more precisely, one pair of Toscanini's pants that she won at an auction in 2013). Fans of Kalman's charming signature style will find more of the same to appreciate, and while the book is meant to accompany the exhibit at Cooper Hewitt, it is plenty enjoyable outside of that context. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.