Interest in art from French colonies led many French designers of the 1920s to experiment with shapes, materials, and techniques evocative of these faraway places and cultures. Here, Legrain has adapted forms from several African cultures: the base of two blocks flanking a central support evokes Bari headrests from Sudan, the pattern along the seat’s edge resembles a carving technique used by many African sculptors, and the stool’s gently curved shape is similar to headrests and stools common throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This piece was made for Jacques Doucet, an important collector of African art and early patron of Art Deco.
Jacques Doucet, Paris and Neuilly (until d. 1929; commissioned from the artist); his widow, Jeanne Roger Doucet, Neuilly (1929–d. 1958); Jacques Doucet's nephew Jean Dubrujeaud, Paris (1958–68); his son Jean Angladon-Dubrujeaud, Paris (1968–72; sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, November 8, 1972, no. 28, sold to MMA)
Washington, D. C. National Museum of African Art. "African Forms in the Furniture of Pierre Legrain," August 16–November 29, 1998, unnum. brochure (fig. 6).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part I: 1900–1925," December 14, 1999–March 26, 2000, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Significant Objects," November 26, 2002–May 2, 2004, no catalogue.
Fukuoka Art Museum. "Art Deco 1910–1939," July 10–September 4, 2005, no. II-22.