Indepth Arts News: |
"An Art Deco Masterpiece: The Chariot of Aurora from the Normandie Ocean Liner"
1999-07-02 until 0000-00-00
Carnegie Museum of Art
USA United States of America
September 21, 1998...Beginning November 7, 1998, the massive gilded and lacquered
relief, The Chariot of Aurora, will take center stage at Carnegie Museum of Arts fall presentation, From Paris to
Pittsburgh. Once part of the elaborate decorative scheme of the French ship Normandie, the most luxurious
ocean liner ever built, the work is a brilliant representation of Art Deco and a significant addition to the museums
Thirty-two panels comprise the bas-relief that was a gift to the museum from renowned collector, Frederick K.
Koch in 1994. After nearly two years of intense restoration and the demolition and rebuilding of a Scaife gallery to
accommodate the 18-by-26 foot wide artwork and related objects, visitors can immerse themselves in an opulent
and glamorous Art Deco environment, experiencing firsthand a decorative style they may only know through
Hollywood films and stage productions from the 1930s.
This is one of the finest pieces of Art Deco in the country, says Louise Lippincott, curator of fine arts at
Carnegie Museum of Art. It transforms our collection of modern European art.
In addition to the spectacle of The Chariot of Aurora, the gallery installation will feature the pair of gilded and red
lacquer doors that opened through the retractable wall on which the Aurora panels hung while on the Normandie.
The doors are a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Chow, Art Deco enthusiasts and owners of Mr. Chows restaurant in
New York City. Mr. Chow offered them to Carnegie Museum of Art after reading of Mr. Kochs gift in the New York
Also in the gallery will be Jean Dupass cartoon, an enormous 8-by-10 foot charcoal drawing that was prepared as
a guide for Jean Dunand, the sculptor and lacquer artist who carved and decorated The Chariot of Aurora. In
addition, A. M. Cassandres striking poster of the Normandie and a silver pitcher by Peter Müller-Munk, inspired
by the ships smoke stacks, suggest the ocean liners impact on modern design and are included in the gallery.