Hector Guimard: How Paris Got Its Curves invites a new understanding of France’s most famous art nouveau architect, Hector Guimard (1867–1942).
Guimard is perhaps best known for his designs for the Paris Métro stations (1898–1900) and private residences like Castel Béranger (1895–97)—both important commissions broadcasting the art nouveau style he was developing at the turn of the century. The repeated use of organically curved, undulating lines anchored his efforts to create an eponymous brand he called le style Guimard. Lesser known is his more pared-down work for several standardized housing projects from the 1920s, attesting to his socialist and pacificist leanings. Though seemingly opposite in appearance, these later projects were always critical components of the Guimard style.
Providing urban and historical context for the full range of Guimard’s design work, this exhibition reexamines le style Guimard through the lens of his design processes and marketing strategies.
The exhibition is accompanied by the publication Hector Guimard: Art Nouveau to Modernism edited by David A. Hanks (Yale University Press in association with the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, 2021).
Hector Guimard: How Paris Got Its Curves is organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, and the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago. Following its presentation at Cooper Hewitt, the exhibition will travel to the Driehaus Museum (June 22, 2023, through Jan. 7, 2024).
At Cooper Hewitt, Hector Guimard: How Paris Got Its Curves was curated by Yao-Fen You, senior curator and head of product design and decorative arts, with Andrea Lacalamita, curatorial fellow, and support from Phoebe Boosalis Moore, former program assistant, and Alisa Chiles, former Smithsonian fellow.
Exhibition design and graphic design by Studio Joseph.
Hector Guimard: How Paris Got Its Curves is made possible with major support from Denise Littlefield Sobel.
Generous support is provided by The Lemberg Foundation and Marilyn F. Friedman. Support is also provided by the August Heckscher Exhibition Fund, The Felicia Fund, and Margery F. Masinter.
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