Moderne: Fashioning the French Interior

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

by Sarah Schleuning

Call Number: NK2049 .A1 S35 2008

Jacques- mile Ruhlmann, Pierre Chareau, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Charlotte Perriand, Eileen Gray: together these designers and their contemporaries pioneered the look of the modern French interior during the 1920s. Their use of sumptuous materials, rich jewel tones, intricate geometric patterns, and complex and varied textures has made this work a lasting favorite among interior designers, architects, and their clients. When it first appeared, the go t moderne, or modern taste, was marketed through limited-edition portfolios containing unbound drawings, printed in full color using a traditional process called pochoir. Created in an era before color photography, the vivid gouache and watercolor depictions of interior spaces—complete with coordinated furniture, carpets, fabrics, and decorative accessories—announced the dawn of a new era of French design and set the standards of luxury and taste that still guide us today.

Moderne presents the finest examples of this work in more than two hundred plates, selected by Sarah Schleuning, a curator of the Wolfsonian Museum, and faithfully reproduced to preserve their original color palettes. This sumptuous volume is comprehensive in scope, beginning with the early art moderne of Ruhlmann and concluding with the avant-garde work of Gray and Perriand. These and other high-water marks of the period are discussed in an essay by historian Jeremy Aynsley. Designers’ biographies and a brief bibliography are also included, making this an inspirational resource for interior designers and architects, and an indispensable reference for historians of the modern era. (Description by BarnesandNobles.com)

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