Living in Style: Five Centuries of Interior Design from the Collection of Drawings and Prints

June 18–September 8, 2013

Presentation Drawing: Interiors

Ogden Codman, Jr. (American, 1868–1951). Design for Louise Vanderbilt's Bedroom at Hyde Park, 1898. The Metropolian Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Estate of Ogden Codman, 1951 [51.644.80(2)]

When working on a large and expensive project, such as a design for a complete interior, the approval of the patron is vital. Architects therefore often created highly finished impressions of what an interior would look like. This example, by the famous American architect Ogden Codman, Jr. (1868–1951), shows his design for the bedroom of Frederik William Vanderbilt's wife Louise at Hyde Park, modeled after Marie-Antoinette's bedroom at Versailles [51.644.80(2)]. In keeping with tradition, Codman presented the balustrade in front of the bed as a moveable part, so that the ensemble could be viewed as a whole and the details of the stately bed would not be lost.

Émile Hurtré (French, active Paris ca. 1890–1900). Artist: Jules C. Wielhorski (French (?), active Paris ca. 1896–1898). Design for a Wall Decoration with Peacock, Cranes, and Sunflowers for the Restaurant in Hotel Langham (Paris), 1896–1898. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Edward Pearce Casey Fund, 1991 (1991.1288)

Contemporary to Codman, but in a completely different style, is this design for the interior of a restaurant (1991.1288) by the architect Émile Hurtré (active ca. 1890–1900) and the painter Jules Wielhorski (active ca. 1896–98). Permission for the construction of the restaurant in the former Hôtel Langham, near the Champs Élysées, was requested in 1896, and the first images of the finished room were published in Modern Construction (La Construction Moderne) in 1898. These dates indicate that it was one of the first public spaces in Paris to be decorated in the daring new Art Nouveau style. As the inscription on the lower right indicates, Hurtré later gifted the design to a friend.