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Side Chair, from the Dining Room of the Hôtel Guimard

It was designed by Hector Guimard. It is dated ca. 1912 and we acquired it in 1948. Its medium is pearwood, leather, brass. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Throughout his career, Hector Guimard, a master of the art nouveau style, was interested in creating Gesamtkunstwerks, or total works of art, where a building’s exterior, interior details, furnishings, and decor harmonized. This side chair is from a suite of dining room furniture in the Paris home Hector Guimard designed in 1909 to share with his new wife, Adeline Oppenheim. It is likely that this chair originally had leather upholstery with embossed curving designs near the material’s edges—playing off of other details in the room—and an intertwined G and O (for Guimard and Oppenheim) monogram. His earlier preference for mahogany and other dark woods evolved into one for lighter fruitwoods—here pearwood—which have a sensual, calming feel. The energy and tension typical of the designer’s work is not lost, however. The chair’s back “handles” maintain an abstracted motif that references the movements and processes of nature—forms that could also be found in the dining room’s buffet, table, and other furnishings. This house is considered one of his most comprehensive expressions of Art Nouveau style.

This object was donated by Madame Hector Guimard. It is credited Gift of Mme. Hector Guimard.

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Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 113.5 x 46 x 48 cm (44 11/16 x 18 1/8 x 18 7/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Side Chair, from the Dining Room of the Hôtel Guimard; Designed by Hector Guimard (French, 1867–1942); France; pearwood, leather, brass; H x W x D: 113.5 x 46 x 48 cm (44 11/16 x 18 1/8 x 18 7/8 in.); Gift of Mme. Hector Guimard; 1948-114-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Side Chair, from the Dining Room of the Hôtel Guimard |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>