The Story of Art Nouveau
The designer of several Metro stations in fin de siècle Paris, Hector Guimard created one of the quintessential documents of French Art Noveau and remains the movement’s best-known proponent. Like his peers, Guimard rejected the domineering historicism in architecture and design, seeking to create a thoroughly modern style. His iconic Metro station gates are characterized by their organic, unfurling forms, produced affordably for the masses. The unity of composition was essential for Guimard and his Art Noveau peers, evinced by the attention to function, design, materials, and smaller details like character font. Although many of Guimard’s major civic works—including many of his Metro stations—were destroyed following his decline in popularity, renewed interest in his oeuvre in the 1960s prompted an increase in scholarship and preservation of his remaining work.
French, 1867-1942, Lyon, France