Best known as an Art Deco metalsmith, Edgar Brandt (1880 – 1960) studied metal working at the Ecole nationale professionnelle of Vierzon and established himself in Paris in 1902. There, he began his blacksmith career; his creations first being marked by the Art nouveau aesthetic. Thanks to his extraordinary technical mastery and ingenuity, he received overwhelming numbers of commissions.
In 1925, Brandt opened an art gallery, where he exhibited pieces created by his contemporaries, as well as some of his works and collaborations, such as the ones with Daum or Lalique. This Modernist Table Lamp (1931) features an S-shaped body on a circular base, in nickel-plated metal, with 2 deep-etched glass cylinders. At 8.5-inches wide at the base, and 12.5-inches high, each lamp is stamped (at the base) with the artist’s Signature: E. Brandt, and Daum Nancy France, for the crystal studio and its location, is etched on the glass. Price point is unknown.
It took a little bit of hunting but, after a couple of hours on the floor, we found the Oh, Wow! item at this year’s ICFF show at Javits Center: this breathtaking bespoke Art Deco Arm Chair by designer John Landrum Bryant.
John explained to me that by stripping the signed Paris circa 1925 chair that he and his wife had purchased from the Steinitz Gallery in Paris many years ago, he created this one-of-a-kind piece, which belongs in his Exclamation! collection. The first step in the chair’s dramatic transformation was stripping and cleaning its intricate carved wood frame, which was first covered with a vibrant bluish lambskin to preserve every detail, and then a metallic pink finish.
Upholstery and Finish Details Above and Below
The chair was partially upholstered from one piece of cowhide, both plain and also embossed with good dots, in an indescribable shade of pink.
With this as the starting point, things really became interesting: lambskin in silver, in green and in pewter, an antique Japanese silk obi, and turquoise python all dance about this incomparable creation.
Dimensions are as follows:
This chair, which is unique and will not be copied, retails for $18,950 ($13,265 to the Trade). For purchase inquires, please visit This Link!
Donald Deskey (1894 – 1989) creator of the interiors at Radio City Music Hall, is a towering figure of modern design. This Art Deco Lamp (circa 1927) is a response to the upward thrust of the New York City skyline. Its boxy proportion echo a tall, narrow building, while on the two side panels, rectilinear puzzle-like patterns similarly evoke compressed architectural forms.
The use of frosted glass in different textures activates the lamp’s surface, even as it diffuses the emitted light, and its compactness attests to Deskey’s awareness that he was typically designing for small domestic interiors.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This Vanity (1928) stands as a harbinger in the evolution of an American modern style. Norman Bel Geddes (1893 -1988) conceived of it only a year after founding the first industrial design firm in the United States. His prior experience on theater and film sets lent a dramatic flair to his consumer products, including this dressing table and mirror, made of enameled and chrome-plated steel, which was part of a larger suite of metal bedroom furniture.
Designed a the height of the Roaring Twenties, it echoes the sleek modernity of Manhattan skyscrapers, a favored motif among Art Deco designers, with its sequence of setbacks from drawers to mirror top. The industrial materials emphasize the design’s mechanical production, while the polished enamel and elegant trim and drawer pulls suggest something of the luxurious finishes found in handmade Art Deco furniture.
Seen in the Mirror: A reflection of the painting, I Saw The Figure Five in Gold By Charles Demuth.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Designed by Rene Paul Chambellan (1893 – 1955) and fashioned from wrought iron and bronze, these gates from the entrance to the Chanin Building’s executive suite, are excellent examples of the important role that metalwork played in defining the art deco style of New York skyscrapers from about 1925 to 1940. The gates’ largely linear, radiating design created an industrially informed aesthetic that was part of the machine-age era.
Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York City.
Vivian Beer’s Anchored Candy Chair may remind you of a stiletto-heeled shoe, or perhaps the sleek styling of a sports car. By fusing such gendered images, Beer highlights both the obvious differences and the more subtle overlap between masculine and feminine consumer forms.
The red Tuffet seat is the first in a new series inspired by the pieces of industrial scrap metal left over from laser cutting. Beer replicated the cut out look of these fragments on a computer, adapting a pattern from a screen by the Art Deco metalsmith Edgar Brandt (1880 – 1960).
Like many women in the historical section of the Pathmakersexhibit, Beer studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, which continues to be a center for creative innovation across all disciplines.
Since receiving her MFA in 2004, Beer has become well known for her use of industrial materials such as steel and concrete to create sensuously curved seating.
Vivian Beer’s Anchored Candy Chair is part of the Exhibit Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today, at the Museum of Arts and Design, Located at 2 Columbus Circle, NYC, Through September 30th, 2015.
It was a very hot and sunny day in late December when my sister and I visited the Queen Mary, docked at Long Beach, California. Formerly a luxury cruise liner specializing in North Atlantic crossings (between US and England) for the Cunard Line, the ship has been retired since 1967 and now has a permanent home at the Port of Long Beach, where it does a brisk business as a luxury hotel, special exhibit venue, event space (get Married on the Queen Mary!) and one of Southern California’s most popular tourist attractions.
Having been on several cruises myself, it was especially fun for me to explore the ship and appreciate how all of the interiors and finishes have been preserved in the ship’s original Art Deco design. While some people might say that these finishes and interiors should be modernized, on the contrary, I think it would be a shame to obliterate so many visual remnants of this ship’s rich history.
Wood Inlay Mural of the Ship
I have a background in architecture and interior design, so I found myself drawn to photographing a lot of interior details that some people might miss, but I think these photos will give you a good feel for the historic atmosphere on board the ship. It is no secret that the ship is haunted and, in fact, you can choose to purchase several different self-guided or guided tours which will clue you in on the history of the various ghosts and hauntings that figure into the Queen Mary’s personal story.
Bar with Haunted Piano (Far Right)
What I was reminded of most is the Overlook Hotel, made famous by Stephen King’s The Shining. I can only imagine how eerie it would be to roam the ship at night. This might be reason enough to investigate staying the night as hotel guest if that works with your plans.
Observation Bar and Deco Lounge
Located around the ship are tons of display cases that hold items for the ships history, such as serving dishes, china, bar ware, furnishings and souvenirs from the time when the Queen Mary regularly transported passengers across the Atlantic.
This Deco Planter Flanks Two Rows of Glass Cases Filled with Historic Items
Each case has a write up on the background and history of each item.
Deco Ceiling Fixture
Deco Pendant Light
The Pendent light above can be found inside this very cool shop, Royal Gifts and Fashions, which sells dresses and other clothing and accessories, as well as jewelry and fun items similar to what you might find in a cross between a vintage clothing boutique and a Hot Topic. Very Fun!
The Dragon Shoppe is an tiny import store that sells all kids of imported chotskies, collectibles and souvenirs.
Miniature Tea Sets Sold in The Dragon Shoppe
This is the door that leads to to the ship’s indoor swimming pool. Although it is not accessible to the general public, I believe there could be a guided tour you could purchase that would take you through that area.
The ship’s original Ticket Office has been preserved with its original furniture, brochures and old fashioned office equipment. When the ship was functional, this is the place that passengers could go to book land transportation, trains or whatever they needed once the ship docked in the UK.
The Queen’s Salon is still used for banquet and wedding functions.
These elevators are no longer in use.
A few of the public rooms have been preserved or recreated to show them as they looked more than fifty years ago. One of those rooms is the Children’s Play Room. I imagine that children did have a nice time playing in this room, but to me it seemed rather sterile and reminded me more of a Pediatrician’s waiting room from the sixties.
I bet there are some ghosts in here.
This is the Grand Salon, which is massive, and where the famous Sunday Champagne Brunch is served. You can find out more about Sunday Champagne Brunch aboard the Queen Mary at This Link.
If you can’t afford $50 for brunch, the ship has many excellent restaurants, including the Promenade, where we enjoyed a fantastic BBQ Pulled Chicken Flatbred Pizza and an awesome Club Sandwich!
I had a great time exploing The Queen Mary and recommend you check it out when you are in Southern California. Find out more about all of the different tours and attractions that the Queen Mary has to offer and plan your trip by visiting This Link!