Photograph, Spiral Staircase, 1927
This is a Photograph.
This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from Smithsonian Libraries as part of the Collection Selects: Wyss Institute and Making Design exhibitions.
Thérèse Bonney was an American photographer and publicist. Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1897, she immigrated to France in 1919. She became one of the first women to graduate from the Sorbonne. Assimilating herself into French society, she founded the first American illustrated press service, in Europe, in 1924. The Bonney Service specialized in design and architecture.
Beginning around 1925, Bonney thoroughly documented the French decorative arts through photography, focusing on the impact of modernism in European design. The spiral staircase image represents her acumen of French modernist architecture in the 1920s–30s. This nautilus-inspired design was incorporated into the Villa Martel, a studio created for twin brothers, Jan and Joël Martel, both of whom were sculptors.
A tireless promoter of modern design, Bonney donated more than 4,000 photographic prints to Cooper Hewitt. Together, the images provide a unique documentation of a design era.
It is credited
Courtesy of Smithsonian Libraries.
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Its dimensions are
H x W: 24.2 x 18 cm (9 1/2 x 7 1/16 in.)