By the time Pierre Legrain designed this stool in the 1920s, the idea of seating furniture as a status symbol had been replaced by the idea that comfort was paramount.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.
Wood, lacquer, sharkskin
22 1/8 x 21 x 14 in. (56.2 x 53.3 x 35.6 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Purchased with funds given by an anonymous donor
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
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 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 73.142_threequarter_SL3.jpg)
3/4, 73.142_threequarter_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Stool (tabouret), black lacquer and sharkskin over wood. U-shaped seat covered with sharkskin, supported by four polygonal columns lacquered black and a center column covered in sharkskin. Center column is narrow at center and flares toward top and bottom and rests on a flat square base covered with gold leaf. The outer lacquered columns are polygonal each with a flange beneath the seat. Rectangular base, tri-stepped on front and back and slopping at either end. Middle step covered with gold leaf base otherwise covered with black lacquer.
CONDITION - Good. All edges of parchment are worn.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.