Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Breakers: Wall Elevation with late Baroque Furnishings

Artist:
Ogden Codman, Jr. (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1868–1951 Grégy-sur-Yerre)
Date:
ca. 1893–95
Medium:
Watercolor and pencil on paper
Dimensions:
sheet: 13 1/8 x 19 15/16 in. (33.3 x 50.6 cm)
Classifications:
Drawings, Ornament & Architecture
Credit Line:
Gift of the Estate of Ogden Codman Jr., 1951
Accession Number:
51.644.73(14)
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.

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