SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2008

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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SchoolArts August/September 2008 By Michelle Labrague, Barbara Pierce Bush, and Kim Robledo-Diga. Labrague is an education fellow at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; Bush is education programs assistant at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Musem; and Robledo-Diga is school programs manager at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Design for a Mantelpiece, Chimneypiece is an example of an architectural rendering study. Oftentimes, architects design and create fictional spaces as a "mock-up" to show potential clients. In this case, Pietro Camporese the Younger is teasing out ideas for a fireplace; however we don't know whether it is for a particular client or if it was done as a creative exercise or speculation (a drawing done without a specific client in mind, but still demonstrating possible choices for a design). On this design for a mantelpiece, trophies hang by a ribbon from a rosette on the laterally placed pilasters. The central part of the upper frieze is decorated with a relief of a Roman emperor receiving captives from war. Classical helmets decorate both corners of the frieze. The clear military theme incorporated into this mantelpiece may mean that Camporese created the design with a military client in mind. The military theme may Howisthisradiatordifferentfromotherradiatorsyouhaveseen? Canyouthinkofotherobjectsthatcouldberedesignedusingdifferent, moreefficientmaterials? Doestheuseofdifferentmaterialschangethefunctionofanobject? Howhavetwenty-firstcenturyproblemsledtoinnovationindesign?(For example, reliance on fuel, diminishing fuel resources, and the rising cost of fuel has led to the invention and design of clean alternative energy sources and vehicles.) About the Drawing • • • • • • • • Pietro Camporese the Younger was trained as an architect and came from a family of architects; his grandfather was Pietro Camporese, a prominent Roman architect who was responsible for several projects in and around the city. Pietro Camporese the Younger worked on several projects in Rome, including Palazzo Wedekind and the Church of San Benedetto in Piscinula. Things to Consider In the mid-seventeenth century, luxury products such as lace, ceramics, glass, and mirrors were very popular among a wealthy, aristocratic clientele in Europe. France's Minister of Finance, Jean Baptiste Colbert, wanted France to become economically self-sufficient, so instead of importing foreign luxury goods, such as those from Venice (whose work was highly prized), he established France's own glassworks company. Thus, the Manufacture Royale de Glace was established in 1665. The Manufacture Royale hired ex-patriate Venetian artisans to create glass objects to compete with imported goods. As a result of several Italian artisans moving to foreign nations (including France, England, and Germany) and the success of France's Royal Manufactory, Venice created a law forbidding its artisans to leave the country and share their knowledge. About the Saint Gobain Glassworks This tempered glass radiator was made for the 1937 Paris World's Fair by France's royal glass manufacturers, Saint Gobain Glassworks, and designed by René Coulon. The name of the model itself is Radiaver, a pun on the French words for heat (radiateur) and glass (verre). The radiator is a reflection of material constraints that occurred before and during World War II; as government and industry prepared for war, metal was in high demand for use in weapons, armor, and ammunition. As a result, innovations in the industrial and domestic use of glass helped to take some of the pressure off metal suppliers gearing up for military production. The Radiaver offered buyers a more modern, equally functional alternative to the cast-iron models of the previous century. The designer of this piece created a work that not only served the buyer's needs of heating a home without using metal, but also maintained an aesthetically pleasing object that would appeal to consumers. About the Object Radiator. Designed by René Coulon (French, 1908–1997). Manufactured by St. Gobain Glassworks. France, ca. 1937. Glass, chrome-plated metal. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Museum purchase from James Ford Fund, 1990-102-1. Photo: John White. GalleryCard GalleryCard SchoolArts August/September 2008 Pietro Camporese the Younger, (Italian, 1792–1873). Design for a Mantelpiece, Chimneypiece. 1830. Pen and black ink, watercolor, black chalk indications on paper, 913/16 x 13½" (25 x 34 cm). Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Museum purchase through gift of various donors and from Eleanor G. Hewitt Fund, 1938-88-4300. Photo: Matt Flynn. also be a reflection of the time; this period in Italian history—after the Napoleonic era—was one of great political upheaval caused by the unification of warring city-states on the peninsula. Through the extensive military iconography, Camporese indicates that he is not only concerned with the function of the chimneypiece (to provide heat), but also with the message the mantelpiece sends (one of military strength). About the Artist Things to Consider Ifyouweredesigningamantelpieceforyourself,what imageswouldyouinclude? Whatimageswouldyouincludeifyouweredesigninga mantelpieceforateacher? Docertainiconsrepresentdifferentpeopleinyourlife? Howare"mock-ups"orsamplingsintendedforclients used today (example, architectural models, furniture catalogs,clothingcatalogs,etc.)? By Michelle Labrague, Barbara Pierce Bush, and Kim RobledoDiga. Labrague is an education fellow at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; Bush is education programs assistant at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Musem; and RobledoDiga is school programs manager at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

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