staircase

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Double-revolution staircase model with curved double staircase with baluster railings, joining on a central landing from which a reverse single staircase rises at right angles, leading to a balcony;
Descending the Stairs in a Grand Manner
This model, like some of the others in the Cooper Hewitt collection, is from the compagnonnage tradition in France that taught design through drawing and model making. The degree of complexity of the curved and bentwood framing of the staircase itself, combined with the second level that reverses itself rising to a balcony, make this...
with central column around which a bombe spiral staircase rotates terminating in a similarly curved inverted cone form standing area of the pulpit surmounted by a carved scroll canopy attached above to the column, all resting a rectangular geometrically inlaid marquetry floor-base
A Staircase to Heaven?
There are many types of staircase models in the Thaw collection, much of which was donated in 2007 to Cooper Hewitt, to coincide with an exhibition Made to Scale: Staircase Masterpieces The Eugene and Clare Thaw Gift that I was lucky enough to curate after studying their significance for the acquisition. Joan K. Davidson, whose...
Spiral staircase model with curved stringboards, on a circular base on bun feet.
The Perfect Spiral
This seemingly simple model is actually one of the most accomplished of the staircase models produced in the compagnonnage tradition in France during the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. This meritocratic system of craftsmanship outside the traditional guilds started in the middle ages but reached its zenith after the French revolution when royal patronage...
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Subway Success
Subway car interior I lived in New York for a few months in 1965, when people were afraid to stand on a station platform alone, or board a train without protection from friends, and there was a police officer in every car. What a contrast from this week, when I rode the Lexington Avenue Express...
Video: Provoking Magic
Ingo Maurer’s most lively exhibit in the historic Andrew Carnegie mansion was his installation of the Carnegies’ portraits above the grand staircase. Andrew and Louise Carnegie gazed out over the magical exhibition Provoking Magic: Lighting of Ingo Maurer and provided their own commentary on the mansion’s transformation under the lighting wizard.
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“It was time for a change, Louise…”
Ingo Maurer and his extraordinary team of designers and technicians have managed to dramatically transform the second floor of the Carnegie Mansion into a fiesta of lights and objects. But Maurer uses a sensitive touch while maintaining the original character of this grand domestic space. If anything, he has made it even more intimate and...