Although most Art Deco patrons were French, one of the era’s most complete, important residential design projects was realized in America: a penthouse apartment in San Francisco designed for Templeton Crocker (1884–1948), the millionaire grandson of the founder of the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Completed in 1928, the apartment contained a master bedroom, dining room, and breakfast room by Dunand; the noted French designers Jean-Michel Frank, Pierre Legrain, and Madame Lipska created the other rooms. The apartment was dismantled and sold in 1959.
The “sponged” surface of Dunand’s master-bedroom furniture is characteristic of lacque arraché, a technique in which a final coat of lacquer (here, metallic gray) is applied over a roughened layer (black). By polishing the entire surface, the raised peaks of the black lacquer were revealed, creating a mottled yet smooth effect.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Marking: Branded (underside): JEAN DUNAND / 72 RUE HALLÉ / PARIS / MADE IN FRANCE
Templeton Crocker, San Francisco (1928–d. 1948); his heirs, San Francisco (1948–72; sold in 1972 to Brant); Mr. and Mrs. Peter M. Brant, Greenwich, Conn. (1972–77; their gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Jean Dunand: Master of Art Deco," May 23–October 28, 1998, no catalogue.
Jared Goss. French Art Deco. New York, 2014, pp. 85, 87, 89, 256, no. 21f, ill. (installation photo, Templeton Crocker residence, ca. 1927).