Home Special Collections Bliznakov Prize Find Materials Donate Materials Support the IAWA
 

1st Milka Bliznakov Prize

Adrienne Gorska

Milka Bliznakov Prize Final Report

submitted by Claire Bonney

July 2002


Title | Introduction | Work list Adrienne Gorska | Other useful information | Documents of interest

Work list Adrienne Gorska

Apartment Marquis Sommi Picenardi, Paris, precise location unknown, late 1920s.

Three photographs of this apartment for an Italian nobleman are located in the Thérèse Bonney Photography Collection. They depict an entrance with an oak commode with silvered metal shelving, a sofa alcove with a geometric-patterned carpet, and a detail of a tiered cabinet. Bonney notes on the back of one of the photographs that the walls are light pink and the carpet is beige, blue, chestnut in color. Tamara de Lempicka painted a portrait of Sommi Picenardi in 1925 (Private Collection, Paris).

Photographs in Thérèse Bonney Photography Collection:

Apartment of Marquis Somni Picenardi, Paris. Entrance with oak commode with silvered metal shelving. Light pink walls, carpet in beige, blue, and chestnut. Bonney no. 8973, Cooper-Hewitt no. IFT 022.

-Detail of sofa alcove and geometric-patterned carpet. Bonney no. 8976, Cooper-Hewitt no. ICC 027.

-Detail of tiered cabinet. Bonney no. 8975, Cooper-Hewitt no. CCC 021.

Literature:

Gilles Néret, Tamara de Lempicka 1898-1980, Cologne: Taschen, 1992, publishes a portrait of the Marquis painted by Tamara de Lempicka in 1925 on p. 8. This portrait is also published in Kizette de Lempicka-Foxhall, Passion by Design, New York: Abbeville Press, p. 59.

Studio apartment for Tamara de Lempicka, 7 rue Méchain, Paris, c. 1930. Metro: Denfert-Rochereau. Building extant but if apartment survives unknown.

Interior decoration for Gorska's sister and her second husband, Baron Raoul Kuffner, in a building by Robert Mallet-Stevens. Anne Bony dates the apartment from 1929 or 1930 and notes that furniture was by René Herbst; Victor Arwas dates it to 1934.

As can be seen from the axonometric drawing, this is an apartment with a loft that includes a study and a bar/library. The entrance hall features a polished metal stand with a lighted mirror with a bungee chair by René Herbst. According to notes made by Thérèse Bonney, the walls and ceiling are light gray. In the sparse living/dining area, is a strange circular fountain made of plaster, metal and glass by the sculptors Jan and Jo‘l Martel who often worked with Mallet-Stevens. According to Bonney's notes, the bar upstair is made of polished oak with nickel trim. Stools are upholstered in brown leather. Furniture is finished in polished walnut and brown woven upholstery. (Platz maintains that the upholstery is green.) Kizette de Lempicka mentions that de Lempicka had her initials woven into the upholstery. The loft's smoking/reading corner resembles steamship cabin or railway sleeping car with its built-in shelving. A small metal light can be seen by sofa. The loft is light blue with white oilcloth curtains and a built-in desk and shelving. A tubular steel chair is upholstered in blue.

Photographs in Thérèse Bonney Photography Collection:

-Bar in balcony. Polished oak and nickel. Bonney no. 11593, Cooper-Hewitt no. IBA 018.

-Bar and balcony. Bar furniture finished in polished walnut and brown woven upholstery. Bar fixtures and balcony rail of polished nickel. Stools upholstered in brown leather. Bonney no. 11595. Cooper-Hewitt no. IBA 017.

-Smoking corner in balcony resembling steamship cabin or railway sleeping car. Finished in polished walnut with beige and brown woven upholstery. Small metal light at side of sofa. Bonney no. 11598, Cooper-Hewitt no. ILI 002.

-Balcony study with built-in desk and shelving overlooking studio. Light blue with white oilcloth curtains and netting. Chair in metal with blue woven upholstery. Bonney no. 11599, Cooper-Hewitt no. DSK 076.

-Entrance hall with polished metal stand with lighted mirror. Walls and ceiling of light gray. Bungee chair by René Herbst. Bonney no. 11601, Cooper-Hewitt no. IFT 029.

-Circular fountain of stucco, metal, and glass with metal sculpture of lion on lower floor of apartment. Designed by sculptors Jan and Joël Martel. Bonney no. 11855, Cooper-Hewitt no. IGE 008.

Literature:

Victor Arwas, Art Déco, New York: Harry Abrams, 1980, p. 190. Anne Bony, Les Années 30, Paris: Edition du Regards, 1987, 2 vols. Gilles Néret, Tamara de Lempicka 1898-1980, Cologne: Taschen, 1992, pictures this studio on pages 37, 44, 68.Gustav Adolf Platz, Wohnräume der Gegenwart, Berlin, 1933, pp. 306, 307, page 364, 383, plate XI (floor plan). Kizette de Lempicka-Foxhall, Passion by Design, New York: Abbeville Press, publishes two other views of the studio p. 99 and p. 119.

Home of Miss Barbara Harrison,[ Boulevard Voirin, 2 until WW II], current street address 10, ave. du Maréchal Le Clerc, Rambouillet (S.E. of Paris between Versailles and Chartres, trains leave every hour from Gare de Montparnasse) by architect Adrienne Gorska and interior designer Lipska, c. 1930.

Gorska/Lipska. Barbara Harrison House, Rambouillet, France, c. 1930. Entry into present dining room.

Gorska/Lipska. Barbara Harrison House, Rambouillet, France, c. 1930. Garden facade.

Gorska/Lipska. Barbara Harrison House, Rambouillet, France, c. 1930. Street facade.

Gorska/Lipska. Barbara Harrison House, Rambouillet, France, c. 1930. Front door.

Gorska/Lipska. Barbara Harrison House, Rambouillet, France, c. 1930. Window, present dining room.

This work is a renovation of a former farmhouse in which the attic story appears have been hollowed out to make room for large living/dining space and a loft bar/library under exposed roof beams. According to notes by Thérèse Bonney, two large windows were inserted to let in light and yield a view of the garden. The walls were buff-colored and the fireplace was made of oak and brick. Sofas and chairs were upholstered in beige and green and the rug was a daring chartreuse hue. In the loft, the wooden bar was stained blue and stools were upholstered in blue oilcloth and red leather.

The floor and walls of the main bathroom were covered with orange, yellow, and gold mosaics with fixtures in yellow copper. Its sunken bath, fitted with built-in padded elbow rests, was lined in blue mosaic. The corner dressing table featured a four-paneled mirror (three fixed, one adjustable). The dressing table stool and the bathroom door were upholstered in yellow leather.

The second bathroom is a veritable jungle of Raoul Dufy-like exuberance with its mural wall and door panels surrounding the bathtub. The paintings depict an elephant, palm trees, and coconuts.

In contrast to the luxury of the baths and more in keeping with the modern movement, bedrooms in the home were surprisingly spartan and functional with simple stripped-down beds and desks and modern parquet floors. Bonney meticulously notes the transversally-pleated curtains in yellow organdy in the main bedroom which contains a double bed with built-in headboard/bookshelf/night table combination.

According to present owners, in Harrison's day the house was well-known for the whisky parties held there. During World War II, it was occupied by German soldiers until its west end was bombed. While still recognizable from the outside, the house has been greatly changed inside. The loft with its bar and library is no longer there, having been converted to a bedroom. The present owner relates that the wooden bar was covered in leather panels. The wooden parts were bottle green with purple staining as I understand it; the bar's base was also purple and the indirect light provided by flourescent tubes highlighted this contrasting color effect. Neither of the bathrooms are intact; the tiled bath was destroyed by present owners in 1970 although they mentioned that the bathtub was no longer in place by the time of their arrival. The large chimney so prominent in Thérèse Bonney's photograph of the home's exterior has been replaced and the window between flues has been covered over. Most intact seems to be the entrance hallway with its three sets of doors leading to the present playroom, kitchen, and dining room. Windows, too, with large Art Deco ball handles seem to belie the presence of Gorska and Lipska. From what remains, the team seems to have opted for an updated Arts-and-Craft style, in keeping with the original agricultural usage of the building.

From the house deeds the following facts can be gleaned: Barbara Harrison was born in New York City on 26 October 1904. The home's present owners believe that she was the daughter of a steel magnate; Thérèse Bonney notes that she was the daughter of Francis Burton Harrison who was a former member of Congress and former Governor General of the Philippines. Barbara Harrison married Lloyd Bruce Westcott of 77 Park Avenue, New York, on 8 April 1935 after which date the home was purchased by the Société Librairie de Chaussée d'Antin.


Photographs in the Thérèse Bonney Photography Collection:

-Exterior, farmhouse with dormer windows and outer chimney. Bonney no. 8068A, Cooper-Hewitt no. ADF 059.

-Corner dressing table in bathroom with four-paneled mirror (three fixed, one adjustable). Stool and door to hall upholstered in yellow leather. Bonney no. 8587, Cooper-Hewitt no. INB 012.

-Bathroom tiled in orange, yellow, and gold mosaics. Radiator cover and faucets in yellow copper. Bonney no. 8588, Cooper-Hewitt no. INB 111.
Literature:
This photograph published in Robertson and Yerbury, "'The Woman Modernist,' Some Striking French Interiors," The Architect and Building News, April 4, 1930, pp. 451-454, p. 452, with no credit to Bonney.

-Bedroom with parquet floor. Single day bed. Desk and armchair. Curtains in white organdy. Bonney no. 8590, Cooper-Hewitt no. IBE 035.

-Living/dining room, formerly barn, with balcony bar and library under exposed roof beams. Bonney no. 8594, Cooper-Hewitt no. ILV 045.

-Living/dining room, other end. Entire right side of room is two large windows overlooking garden. Buff walls. Fireplace in oak and brick. Long wooden dining table and benches. Sofas and chairs upholstered in beige and green. Chartreuse green rug. Bonney no. 8595, Cooper-Hewitt no. ILV 021.

-Other end of bathroom as in Bonney no. 8587, 8588. Sunken bathtub with interior in blue mosaic. Inset bathmat and elbow rests in yellow or orange rubber, built-in bench. Bonney no. 8596, Cooper-Hewitt no. INB 013.

-Bar corner in library located on balcony above living room. Exposed beams in living room ceiling. Glass-topped bar in natural wood tinted blue. Bar stools upholstered in blue oilcloth and red leather. Bonney no. 8597, Cooper-Hewitt no. IBA 032.

-Second bathroom with murals depicting jungle scenes (elephant, palm tree, coconuts) on walls and door. Bonney no. 8601, Cooper-Hewitt no. INB 015.

-Second bedroom with double bed with built-in headboard/ bookshelf/night table combination. Parquet floor. Transversally-pleated curtains in yellow organdy. Walls and woodwork in pale yellow. Bonney 8605, Cooper-Hewitt no. IBE 036.

-Bar end of library balcony. Bar accessories in copper. Small tables and benches. Bonney no. 8606, Cooper-Hewitt no. IBA 033.

Descriptions as to colors and materials are provided by the typed labels on the back of the photographs.

Literature:

Howard Robertson and Frank Yerbury, "'The Woman Modernist,' Some Striking French Interiors," The Architect and Building News, April 4, 1930, pp. 451-454.

Thierry Liot
Chargé de Mission Archives et patrimoine
Bibliothèque municpale Florian 5, rue Guatherin
F-78120 Rambouillet
Tel. 01 61086124
is the person currently in charge of historic preservation for the town of Rambouillet

Current owners

Monsieur et Madame André Sabourin
10, ave. du Maréchal Le Clerc
F-78120 Rambouillet

Curved bench in tubular steel upholstered in black moleskin, c. 1931

Literature:

Arlette Barret-Despond, UAM, Paris: Editions du Regard, 1986, p. 261, illustrates this bench and writes that it was designed for Pierre de Montaut.

Apartment House, 3, rue Casimir Pinel, Neuilly sur Seine, 1931

Gorska, 3, rue Casimir Pinel, Neuilly, 1931, penthouse.

Gorska, 3, rue Casimir Pinel, Neuilly, 1931, corner.

Gorska, 3, rue Casimir Pinel, Neuilly, 1931, auto ramp to underground garage.

This house is currently still fairly intact although the original iron window frames have been replaced. The Parisian practice of selling apartments within a building separately has led to much change within single apartments. I was able to enter one apartment in which the wall placement was entirely unchanged since the building's construction. Although the modern, sculptured original concrete walls were obviously intended to be bare, they are currently uniformly covered with fleur-de-lis and brocade wallpaper. Inset hallway lighting and many interior wall cupboards, both quite groundbreaking in 1930 can, however, still be seen. Another innovation of the time was the placement of the maids' rooms in the building's lowest floor thus allowing servants to access apartments via elevator and obviating the embarassment of meeting them in the stairwell. Thus the top floor, in the pre-elevator era the maids' domain, was freed for a penthouse apartment. A curving ramp leads down into the warren of maids' rooms and to approximately 12 garage stalls for private automobiles. The cellar exhibits the bare concrete pillars upon which the construction rests.

Gorska, 3, rue Casimir Pinel, Neuilly, 1931, cellar.

Gorska, 3, rue Casimir Pinel, Neuilly, 1931, ground floor.

Gorska, 3, rue Casimir Pinel, Neuilly, 1931, second floor.

Gorska, 3, rue Casimir Pinel, Neuilly, 1931, third floor.

Gorska, 3, rue Casimir Pinel, Neuilly, 1931, sixth floor.

Literature:

Arlette Barret-Despond, UAM, Paris: Editions du Regard, 1986, p. 468, mentions this building as having so impressed UAM members that they invited Gorska to join their association. Barret-Despond writes that Gorska was the building’s architect. However, the building pictured in the same book (p. 184) is captioned as being by "Pierre de Montaut et Adrienne Gorska."

Contact person in building:
Mark Eacersall
Tel. 0033 01 46 37 49 39
who is a good friend of the architect Thierry Ollagnier, 7 rue Théophile Gauthier, Neuilly sur Seine, Tel. 0033 01 47 47 77 42. Monsieur Ollagnier’s mother Jacqueline has been living in the building since 1935. It was she who graciously allowed access to her apartment.

Office of G.M. and C.K. in Paris, 1934, by Adrienne Gorska and Pierre de Montaut

Literature:

"Architecture interne: bureau G.M. et C.K. ˆ Paris de Montaut et Gorska," Beaux-Arts; chronique des arts et de la curiosité; le journal des arts, Paris, June 21, 1935, p. 3. This office is mentioned in the Art Index but I have not been able to locate the article cited.

15, perhaps 16, cinemas for the Cinéac Group run by Reginald Ford by Adrienne Gorska and Pierre de Montaut

According to Francis Lacloche (p. 178), Ford entered late to the world of cinemas. After having been director of the summer casino in Cannes, he entered the circuit as an employee of Jacques Haik before himself becoming director of a circuit of news cinemas in Paris. His first Cinéac (combine cinema and actualité), by the architects Gorska and de Montaut, opened in Montmartre on 2 July 1931. It was not an immediate success. Cinema facades carried neon advertising. The cinema Cinéac at Marseilles carried 620 meters of neon on its facade and 580 lamps. Doors were opened automatically by means of photoelectric cells. The architects formed a corporate identity for the whole cinema chain. Ford’s great innovation was the association of large newspapers for promoting the cinemas. He named the theaters after each newspaper in exchange for free newspaper advertising for the film programs he changed every two weeks. The newspapers were committed to co-financing the neon signage that carried their names. Ford’s news program lasted approximately one hour: two or three films presented French and American news, an educational documentary, a cartoon, and a humorous sketch. Some cinemas sported two screens. On the smaller one, train departure times were screened or the most up-to-date news releases. Thanks to the success of this formula, Ford opened more than 20 cinemas in Euorpe between 1931 and his death in 1937. His circuit’s financial power allowed for local film teams who could provide 16 mm documentation of local events within 24 hours. Ford seems to have had an eye for good architecture; he also employed Johannes Duiker for the Cinéac De Hanseblad in Amsterdam (1934).

  1. Cinéac Le Journal, Paris-Montmartre, 1931, sold to circuit Radio-Cité in 1938
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  2. Cinéac Le Journal, Paris, Boulevard des Italiens, 1931.
    Perhaps at 32, Boulevard des Italiens. Access would have to be gained to the current cinema located at this addres to ascertain if interior is extant. Literature:Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  3. Cinéac Paris-Midi, Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris, 1932.
    Not extant.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981. André Lurçat uses this cinema to illustrate the good use of neon advertising.
  4. Cinéac Le Soir, Brussels, 1932.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  5. Cinéac Le Journal, Gare Montparnasse , Paris, 1933.
    Not extant.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  6. Cinintran Radio Ile-de-France, corner Boulevard de la Madeleine and rue Godot-de-Mauroy, Paris, 1935.
    Not extant, this cinema was in a building by Molinié and Nicod in whose office Gorska and de Montaut had both worked; while the building still exists, the cinema has now been converted into a bank.
    The critic S. Gille Delafon describes this building as having two subterranean theaters, both painted sky blue. The -1 level is a newsreel theater while the -2 level is a long rectangular (35 x 8 meters) feature film theater for an audience of 400 which, according to Delafon, had terrible acoustics. Main aisle flooring is linoleum, at the time a relatively new material. While it is common practice today, Delafon protested that cinema-goers are treated like so many "docile sheep" in that they are directed out of the cinema by blue arrows and into the street in order to avoid incoming customers.
    Literature:
    -Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
    -Facade at night reprinted from André Lurçat’s Formes, composition et lois d’harmonie, plate III, in Jean-Louis Cohen, André Lurçat, Milan: Electa, 1998.
    -S. Gille Delafon,"Cinintran," Beaux-Arts: chronique des arts et de la curiosité, le journal des arts (Paris), nouvelle série, 73, no. 116 (22 March 1935), p. 3.
  7. Cinéac Le Petit marseillais (with 3 theaters), Marseilles, Canebière, 1935.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  8. Cinéac Le Journal, rue de Rivoli, Paris, 1935.
    Not extant.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  9. Cinéma Normandie, 116-118 avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris, 1936. Metro: Georges V.
    Not extant, now new building with a new cinema.
    The critic Roger Dornès praised the Normandie cinema for its excellent ventilation and its innovative lighting, both hidden in the parbolic ceiling cornices. Artificial lighting, nearly approximating that of daylight, was obtained by inserting pairs of one red and one green neon light tubes. By coating the walls with an absorbant material and running the floor carpet part way up the walls, Gorska and de Montaut achieved acoustics that were reported as being very good. Although in another one of their other cinemas, the architects made use of the daring contrast of green and black colors, here at the Normandie the tones are warm and relaxing. The seats are reported as being comfortable.
    The exterior of the building is used as a wall for publicity. By utilizing the same neon decorations and publicity photographs in the cinema’s vestibule, the architects attract passers-by who, according to Dornès, were practically unaware that they have now entered the building. According to this critic, the secret of Gorska’s and de Montaut’s successful cinema design lay in the fact that they succeeded in divorcing their concepts from those of traditional theater planning in which the cinema finds its antecedents.
    Literature:
    -S. Gille Delafon,"Cinintran," Beaux-Arts: chronique des arts et de la curiosité, le journal des arts (Paris), nouvelle série, 73, no. 116 (22 March 1935), p. 3.
    -Montaut and Gorska. "Vingt salles de cinema," Strasbourg, Société française d’éditions d’art.
    In 4.
    -Roger Dornès, "Cinémas: quelques réalisations de Pierre de Montaut et Adrienne Gorska," Art et décoration, vol. 66, 1937, no. 3, pp. 73-80.
    -"Cinema Normandie ˆ Paris," Architecture d’aujourd’hui, 1937, no.2, pp. 40-42.
    -André Lurçat. Formes, composition et lois d’harmonie - Eléments d’une science de l’esthétique architecturale, Vincent Fréal & Cie, Paris 1953-57, 5 vols published and 1 not edited.
  10. Cinéac Le Petit Provençal, Marseilles, Belsunce, 1936.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  11. Cinéac L’Eclaireur de Nice, Nice, 1936.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  12. Cinéac La Dépche de Toulouse, Toulouse, 1936.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  13. Cinéac Le Grand Echo du Nord, Lille, 1937.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  14. Cinéac Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace-Lorraine, Strasbourg, 1938.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  15. Cinéac Le Journal, avenue des Ternes, 1939.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981.
  16. Cinema Le Rio, Angoulême, France, 1952.
    Literature:
    Francis Lacloche, Architectures de Cinémas, Paris: Editions du Moniteur, 1981, p. 212.

Polish Pavilion, Exposition internationale des Arts et Techniques appliqué ˆ la vie moderne, Paris, 1937?

Although Arlette Barret-Despond (UAM, Paris: Editions du Regard, 1986, p. 468) writes that Gorska designed this building (and this information is repeated by Mel Byars in his Design Encyclopedia, New York: John Wiley, 1994, p. 221), the official exposition catalog states that Pniewski, Lacherte, Brukalski and Szanajca were the architects with Altmeyer, Jacques Bagge, Fenzy and Carreau as collaborating French architects. (Exposition internationale des arts et des techniques appliqués ˆ la vie moderne. Album officiel. Reprint J.Chaplain-Editions, Colombes, 1987.)

Newsreel theaters for Pathé Nathan in Poland, 1939, by Adrienne Gorska and Pierre de Montaut.

According to Kizette de Lempicka and Charles Phillips, Passion by Design, The Art and Times of Tamara de Lempicka, New York: Abbeville Press, 1987, p. 127, in the summer of 1939, Montaut and Gorska were in Poland designing newsreel theaters for Pathé Nathan.

Apartment in Warsaw, 1939

According to Kizette de Lempicka

Plan for anchoring sand on swimming beach, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, 1960s.

According to Laura Claridge, Tamara de Lempicka, a Life of Deco and Decadence, London: Bloomsbury, 1999, p. 309.

The Musée le patrimoine in Beaulieu-sur-Mer (Curators: Monsieur Canne and Madame Lecorchet, Tel. 0033 4 93 76 47 00) has never heard of Adrienne Gorska de Montaut.

Title | Introduction | Work list Adrienne Gorska | Other useful information | Documents of interest



IAWA web
IAWA Board of Advisors
Archivist's Annual Reports
IAWA Newsletters
IAWA In the News
Related Websites
facebook wordpress
Send questions or comments to:
IAWA Archivist, University Libraries
Virginia Tech, P.O. Box 90001,
Blacksburg, VA 24062-9001



IAWA Digital Library & Archives Special Collections University Libraries CAUS Virginia Tech


URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/IAWA/inventories/Gorska/gorska-2.html
Last modified on: Wednesday, 17-Oct-2007 14:40:58 EDT by Mark B. Gerus