Hector Guimard: How Paris Got Its Curves

Co-organized by Cooper Hewitt and the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago, this exhibition invites a new understanding of France’s most famous Art Nouveau architect, Hector Guimard (1867–1942). Bringing together nearly 100 objects from public and private collections worldwide, the exhibition will provide urban and historical context for the full range of Guimard’s design work.

Guimard is perhaps best known for designing the entrances to the Paris Métro stations and private residences like Castel Béranger. Based in the repeated use of organically curved, undulating lines, these ornate designs anchored his efforts to create an eponymous brand he called Style Guimard. Lesser known are his more pared-down designs for several standardized housing projects from the 1920s, attesting to his socialist and pacificist leanings. Though seemingly opposite in appearance, these later projects were also critical components of the Guimard style.

The exhibition is accompanied by the publication, Hector Guimard: Art Nouveau to Modernism by David A. Hanks (Yale University Press in association with the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, 2021).

Following its debut at Cooper Hewitt, the exhibition will travel to the Driehaus Museum (June 22, 2023, through Jan. 7, 2024).

Métro Entrance Medallion c. 1900 Designed by Hector Guimard (French, 1867–1942) Produced by Val d'Osne Foundry (Saint-Dizier, France) Cast iron, paint 29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 61 cm) Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York Gift of Harry C. Sigman 2
9 December 2022 to 29 May 2023
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street
10128 New York, NY
Cooper Hewitt, Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Cooper Hewitt