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.
This striking, six-pronged Green Glass Vase (circa 1931) is part of a small group of modernist art glass by Frederick Carder for the Steuben Division of Corning Glass Works. Carder was a glass blower, born and trained in England. He preferred traditional forms and elaborate ornament, but like many of his contemporaries active in the late 1920s, he responded to the international interest in abstraction and avant-garde experimentation by incorporating sharp angles, asymmetry, and bright color combinations into some of his designs.
Donald Deskey (November 23, 1894 – April 29, 1989) was an American industrial designer. Deskey’s approach to design was strongly influenced by the new European modernist principles he encountered while attending at the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris and visiting the Bauhaus in Germany. Initially, Deskey experimented with these ideas at his company, Deskey-Vollmer, Inc., during the late 1920s. Most European modernist works, however, were made with expensive materials and labor-intensive procedures. These were characteristics that Americans were reluctant to embrace in the wake of the Depression. By the early 1930s, Deskey had struck out on his own and revised his approach. He made his designs more affordable and appropriate by adapting nontraditional materials, such as cork, aluminum, and steel, into his furniture and interiors. In 1932, he was awarded the commission to complete the interiors of Radio City Music Hall (RCMH) — the first public commission to feature these unlikely materials.
Although we now consider the interiors of this landmark theater to be a great achievement in the history of design, project manager Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel originally envisioned a more traditional rococo style. Deskey, a strong proponent of modernism, met Rothafel halfway by designing an interior in a style he called, “modern rococo.” Aluminum wallcoverings, whimsical modern patterns, and furniture made of Bakelite and tubular steel graced the halls, lobbies, and powder rooms of the theater.
Report From Rockport By Stuart Davis (All Photos By Gail)
Although he passed away when I was only three years old, Stuart Davis is an American painter whose works I’ve completely fallen in love with through seeing them in the permanent collections of The Met, MOMA and The Whitney – the latter of which is currently hosting a career retrospective of Davis’ paintings entitled In Full Swing, which is just mind blowing.
If you are a Davis fan, this exhibit is a must-see. If you’re not yet familiar with his work, now is the time to get yourself an education.
Stuart Davis (1892–1964) was one of the preeminent figures of American modernism. With a long career that stretched from the early twentieth century well into the postwar era, he brought a distinctively American accent to international modernism.