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Drawing, Design for Railings, Hounds

This is a drawing. It was designed by William Hunt Diederich. It is dated ca. 1920 and we acquired it in 2018. Its medium is graphite on paper; verso: graphite. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This group of 39 drawings by the artist and designer William Hunt Diederich showcases Hunt Diederich’s prodigious skill as a draftsman and the varied ways in which drawing factored into Hunt Diederich’s design process for metalwork and ceramics. Hunt Diederich developed a love of animal forms at an early age and remained his primary subject matter for his entire career. These sketches range from early experiments with forms to cartoons used in the final transfer process from paper design to wrought iron. They encapsulate Hunt Diederich’s spirit for invention—he found opportunities for the application of dynamic patterns and stylized figures and forms in everything from furniture to fixtures. Hunters, dancers, ibex, hounds, eagles, horses, peacocks and more appear throughout the drawings, ingeniously incorporated into geometric forms or functional designs. In one, the form of a bird becomes a vehicle for a cleverly designed pair of scissors. In another, a hound rears up on his hind legs to hold up a sconce. As a whole, the group of drawings tells the story of a designer with the unique ability to translate sinuous creatures from nature into striking, static images.

This object was donated by Deedee Wigmore. It is credited Gift of D. Wigmore Fine Art.

Its dimensions are

20.3 × 25.4 cm (8 × 10 in.)

Cite this object as

Drawing, Design for Railings, Hounds; Designed by William Hunt Diederich (American, b. Hungary, 1884–1953); graphite on paper; verso: graphite; 20.3 × 25.4 cm (8 × 10 in.); Gift of D. Wigmore Fine Art; 2018-16-1

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Design for Railings, Hounds |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=1 February 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>