Artist: Pierre Legrain (French, Levallois-Perret 1889–1929 Paris)

Date: ca. 1925

Medium: Palisander

Dimensions: 13 1/4 × 28 3/4 × 10 1/2 in. (33.7 × 73 × 26.7 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1972

Accession Number: 1972.283.1


Interest in art from French colonies led many French designers of the 1920s to experiment with shapes, materials, and techniques evocative of these faraway places and cultures. Here, Legrain has adapted forms from several African cultures: the base of two blocks flanking a central support evokes Bari headrests from Sudan, the pattern along the seat’s edge resembles a carving technique used by many African sculptors, and the stool’s gently curved shape is similar to headrests and stools common throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This piece was made for Jacques Doucet, an important collector of African art and early patron of Art Deco.