Amoeblog


Folies Art Nouveau

Posted by Whitmore, March 26, 2009 07:19pm | Post a Comment


Well, let the looting, pilfering and ransacking begin at Metro stations across the ville de Paris.
 
At Christies this week a cast-iron entrance rail to a Paris Metro stop from the early 1900’s sold for $27,500 at auction. The Art Nouveau remnant of the Paris subway system was originally expected to bring in only about $9,000.
 
Standing more than 4 feet high and almost 5 feet wide, more than 140 of these Metro guard rails were built around 1900. Though most have not survived, a few reside here and there and in museums around the world, including New York's Museum of Modern Art. There is actually only one complete surviving Art Nouveau edicule in the Paris Métro located at The Porte Dauphine station. All these entrance signs and railings and stations were created and designed by the architect Hector Guimard (1867 - 1942), who was also renowned for his design of the Pavilion of Electricity at the 1889 World's Fair in Paris and his 1913 design of the Synagogue de la rue Pavée à Paris.

Today Guimard is considered by many as the most prominent representative of the French Art Nouveau, but during his lifetime his fame and critical appreciation was short lived. By the onset of World War One his reputation and commissions had already started to fall by the wayside. By the time of his death in 1942 in New York, he had been forgotten. 
 
Christie's did not release the name of the winning bidder.

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Hector Guimard (1), Art Nouveau (3), Art (88), Paris (12), Christies (2)