Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (French, Paris 1879–1933 Paris)
Macassar ebony, silvered bronze, modern silk upholstery
H. 33-1/2, W. 17-1/2, D. 20 inches (85.1 x 44.5 x 50.8 cm.)
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1925
Not on view
Ruhlmann designed this chair for the fashionable Drouant restaurant in Paris. The subtle elegance of the design, with its gracious curves, counter-curves, tapering, and swelling, makes it representative of all of Ruhlmann’s work. The Museum bought this example from the designer in 1925. Its original silk damask upholstery was designed by Ruhlmann and made by a weaver in Lyon. Unfortunately, the silk was so fine that it disintegrated over time, perhaps intensified by the use of artificial dies. The current fabric is a digitally printed reproduction that convincingly evokes the colors and texture of the original.
Ruhlmann et Laurent, Paris (1925; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ruhlmann: Genius of Art Deco," June 10–September 5, 2004, no. 24.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Ruhlmann: Genius of Art Deco," September 30–December 12, 2004, no. 24.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Design," March 30–December 3, 2006, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of French Art Deco," August 4, 2009–January 23, 2011, no catalogue.
Joseph Breck. "Accessions and Notes: Furniture by Ruhlmann." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 21 (March 1926), p. 88.