Fashioning the French Interior

Sarah Schleuning


     9 × 12 in (22.9 × 30.5 cm)
304 pages
272 color illustrations
Publication date: 11/1/2007
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568987248

Jacques-Emile 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 gout 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.

Essayist Jeremy Aynsley heads the Department of Design History and the School of Humanities at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. Since 2001, he has been director of the AHRC Centre for the Study of the Domestic Interior, which runs a cross-disciplinary program in conjunction with Royal Holloway University of London and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Author Sarah Schleuning is curator at the Wolfsonian Florida International University. Prior to joining the Wolfsonian, she served as assistant curator at the Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She has curated several exhibitions relating to twentieth-century art, decorative arts, and design.

Editor Marianne Lamonaca is the associate director for curatorial affairs and education at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, where she oversees the curatorial and educational programs. She has organized numerous exhibitions, including the one held in conjunction with the publication of Grand Hotels of the Jazz Age: The Architecture of Schultze & Weaver.

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