A branch of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to design and the decorative arts, the Cooper-Hewitt (2 E. 91st St., 212/849-8400, www.si.edu/ndm , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sat., noon–5 p.m. Sun., adults $10, students and seniors $5, free to children under 12) focuses on such areas as textiles, metalwork, wallpaper, ceramics, furniture, and architectural design.
But half the story is the building itself; the museum occupies a 64-room mansion built by industrialist Andrew Carnegie.