The Breakers: Wall Elevation with late Baroque Furnishings
Ogden Codman, Jr. (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1868–1951 Grégy-sur-Yerre)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
sheet: 13 1/8 x 19 15/16 in. (33.3 x 50.6 cm)
Drawings, Ornament & Architecture
Gift of the Estate of Ogden Codman Jr., 1951
Not on view
Ogden Codman was one of the most successful American architects of the second half of the 18th century. He studied at MIT and had a small architectural firm in Boston between 1891 and 1893. One of his first important commissions was the interior decoration of Cornelius II Vanderbilt’s (American, 1842-1899) Summer House, The Breakers, in Newport, Rhode Island. He decorated the rooms inspired by 18th-century French and Italian designs. In this wall elevation he specifically chose for the late Baroque period, with cabinets inspired by André Charles Boulle (French, Paris 1642-1732 Paris) and a painting close to -ornament prints made by Daniel Marot (French, Paris 1661-1752 The Hague). A few years later he would work for Frederik William Vanderbilt (American, 1856-1938) on his monumental estate Hyde Park. The bedroom of Frederik’s wife Louise (American, 1844-1926) was modeled after Marie-Antoinette’s bedroom at Versailles. In keeping with old traditions, Codman constructed the balustrade in his drawing as a moveable part so that the ensemble could be viewed as a whole, while the details of the stately bed would not be lost. Codman worked on a large number of interiors in a wide array of styles for the nouveau riche on the East Coast before retiring to France in 1920.
Donor: Estate of Ogden Codman, Jr.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Living in Style. Five centuries of interior design from the collection of drawings and prints," June 17, 2013–September 9, 2013.