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Object Timeline

-0001

1926

  • Work on this object began.

1936

  • We acquired this object.

1991

2015

2018

  • You found it!

Drawing, First Studies, Villa Stein-de Monzie, Garches, France, 1926

This is a Drawing. It is dated 1926 and we acquired it in 1936. Its medium is graphite on white paperboard, mounted on canvas. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

After modern art collectors Michael and Sarah Stein saw Le Corbusier’s rational, machine aesthetic approach to living at the 1925 Paris Exposition, they and their friend Gabrielle de Monzie commissioned him to design a two-family home in a Paris suburb. The Steins were proud to help usher in a new modern movement, giving the architect one of his first opportunities to realize his avant-garde architectural credos. The collaboration between architect and clients was apparently a positive one, though the design went through many changes, even after construction began. This early drawing depicts, clockwise from top left, the facade elevation, rear elevation, rear aerial perspective, and facade aerial perspective. Le Corbusier believed a house was a “machine for living in,” and the working sketches show the factory-like nature of his aesthetic. He eliminated decorative ornament in favor of clean, rhythmic lines and embraced both new technologies like reinforced concrete and classical principles of geometry, rational structure, and open spaces. Completed in 1927, the villa was nicknamed “Les Terrases” for its suspended, open terraces, visible in the aerial perspectives. The combination of interior and exterior, also found in the roof garden, was a key component of modernist architecture at the time.

This object was catalogued by Calvin S. Hathaway and Julia Pastor. It is credited Museum purchase from James B. Ford and Peter Cooper Hewitt Estate Funds.

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

32.2 x 24.1 cm (12 11/16 x 9 1/2in.)

It is inscribed

Inscribed in pen and black ink, left: Premiers croquis fait / en 1926 / (Album à dessin) / en septembre dans / la propriét e/ "Le Lac" / au bord du / lac Léman: and on right: villa Stein / à Garches / achevée en 1927 / Le Corbusier (underlined); inscribed in graphite (by a later hand), verso lower right: PHOTOGRAPH: HYDE/ D-11/ LE CORBUSIER

Cite this object as

Drawing, First Studies, Villa Stein-de Monzie, Garches, France, 1926; France; graphite on white paperboard, mounted on canvas; 32.2 x 24.1 cm (12 11/16 x 9 1/2in.); Museum purchase from James B. Ford and Peter Cooper Hewitt Estate Funds; 1936-60-2

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18343861/ |title=Drawing, First Studies, Villa Stein-de Monzie, Garches, France, 1926 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 October 2018 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>