Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Button

Designer:
Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Maker:
Attributed to Jean Clemént (French, 1900–1949)
Maker:
Attributed to Roger Jean-Pierre (French, active 1934–1976)
Date:
fall 1937
Culture:
French
Medium:
metal
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955
Accession Number:
2009.300.1500a–c
Not on view
In 1937, Paris hosted an Exposition or World's Fair. Referred to as "Paris 1937," the Exposition included six different shows and museum openings, including "L'Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne," which emphasized arts and techniques of the modern age and included a "Pavillon de l'Elégance," a showcase of the work of various couturiers including Schiaparelli. For her fall 1937 collection, Schiaparelli designed several pieces inspired by the upcoming Exposition, including these ornamental buttons inscribed with "Paris 1937." The motif of a ship sailing on a turbulent sea depicted on the trompe l'oeil medals is the same motif pictured on the coat of arms of Paris, in use since 1358. The buttons, representative of a medal hanging from a ribbon and made of cast metal alloy, are an example of a typical Schiaparelli design device in that the object is created in a material that is the antithesis of the silk and precious metal used to make an actual medal.
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