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Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann drawings and papers, 1924-1936

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Finding aid for the Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann drawings and papers, 1924-1936

Scope and Content of Collection

The Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann drawings and papers detail the later work of this French Art Deco interior and furniture designer. This collection of interior design drawings displays a cross section of Ruhlmann's most productive period and forms a significant resource for the study of the history of modernism in French decorative arts. Though many of the materials are undated, based on drawing and paper inscriptions from the collection, dealer's inventory, and research, the materials can be dated to between 1924 and 1936. Project titles are based on information provided in portfolio inscriptions and dealer's inventory.

Included in this collection are twenty-four portfolios for seventeen design projects that document perspective views, floor plans, furniture designs, and interior design details. Materials are largely visual, comprised of original sketches, drawings, stencils, and renderings. Scattered throughout the collection are several handwritten notes, financial statements, and textual records. The portfolios are labeled by project, but some drawings may be incorrectly filed.

Ruhlmann was a prolific "ensemblier" who designed furniture, wallpaper, carpet, floor coverings, window draperies, upholstery, and lighting. This collection provides rare visual documentation of Ruhlmann's conceptual design works through preliminary drawings and sketches. Notable clients represented in the collection include: André Tardieu, French Prime Minister from the 1920s; Daniël George Van Beuningen, Dutch collector and businessman; André Granet, architect; and Paul Rodier, textile and silk producer. The collection also provides documentation of Ruhlmann's last major interior design project for André Granet. This project began in 1932 and was completed by Alfred Porteneuve, Ruhlmann's nephew, in 1934 after Ruhlmann's death.


Projects arranged alphabetically by client name.

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