• Hector Guimard: Art Nouveau to Modernism
    David A. Hanks
    Barry Bergdoll, Alisa Chiles, Sarah D. Coffin, Isabelle Gournay, Philippe Thiebaut, Georges Vigne, and Yao-Fen You
    Yale University Press, 2021
    The Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Postcard No. 11 from Le style Guimard Series, “Le Mètropolitain – Station de l’Ètoile,” 1903. Collection of Nicolas Horiot, Paris

The aesthetic of architect Hector Guimard (1867–1942) has long characterized French Art Nouveau in the popular imagination. This groundbreaking book showcases all aspects of his artistry and recognizes the fundamental modernity of his work. Known for, among other things, the decorative entrances to the Paris Métro and the associated lettering, he often looked to nature for inspiration, and combined materials such as stone and cast iron in unique ways to create designs composed of curves and waves that evoked movement. Guimard broke away from his classical Beaux-Arts training to advocate a modern, abstract style; he also pioneered the use of standardized models for his design objects and experimented with prefabricated designs in his social housing commissions, advancing the technology of the time. Including comprehensive reproductions of his architectural drawings, as well as his furniture, jewelry, and textile designs, this volume explores Guimard’s full oeuvre and demonstrates its significance. Essays by an international group of scholars present Guimard as a visionary architect, a shrewd entrepreneur, an industrialist, and a social activist.

David A. Hanks has been president of David A. Hanks & Associates since its founding in 1980. Previously, he held curatorial positions at The Art Institute of Chicago and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and has served as curatorial consultant to various museums including the Smithsonian Institution, for which he curated and organized the exhibitions Innovative Furniture in America and The Decorative Designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and authored the accompanying catalogues.  He has also served on the curatorial teams for such major exhibitions as In Pursuit of Beauty: Americans and the Aesthetic Movement for The Metropolitan Museum of Art; High Styles: Twentieth-Century American Design for the Whitney Museum of American Art; The Arts and Crafts Movement in America, 1876-1916 for the Princeton University Art Museum; and Philadelphia: Three Centuries of American Art for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum explores the art, architecture, and design of the late nineteenth century to the present. Its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are presented in an immersive experience within the restored Nickerson Mansion, completed in 1883. Vibrant educational and cultural programs, as well as exhibitions, place the Gilded Age in context and illuminate the history, culture, and urban fabric of Chicago.