By the time Pierre Legrain designed this stool in the 1920s, the idea of seating furniture as a status symbol had been replaced by the idea that comfort was paramount. In making a stool whose luxury and beauty surpassed its usefulness, Legrain looked back to older ways of thinking. His use of an African model, however, was new and reflected a growing fascination with the arts of Africa among sophisticated Europeans in the 1920s.
By turning a traditionally simple African form into a luxury object made of lacquered wood and covered with expensive sharkskin, Legrain reflected the cultural imperialism of his time, when Western artists and designers raided the artistic heritage of the world and remade objects from other cultures to accommodate consumers’ taste.
- Maker: Pierre Legrain, French, 1889-1929
- Medium: Wood, lacquer, sharkskin
- Dates: ca. 1923
- Dimensions: 22 1/8 x 21 x 14 in. (56.2 x 53.3 x 35.6 cm) (show scale)
- Markings: no marks
- Signature: no signature
- Inscriptions: no inscriptions
- Collections:Decorative Arts
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Great Hall, 1st Floor
- Accession Number: 73.142
- Credit Line: Purchased with funds given by an anonymous donor
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Pierre Legrain (French, 1889-1929). Stool (Tabouret), ca. 1923. Wood, lacquer, sharkskin, 22 1/8 x 21 x 14 in. (56.2 x 53.3 x 35.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by an anonymous donor, 73.142. Creative Commons-BY
- Record Completeness: Good (69%)