Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: A Woman Smoking, 1931

"A Woman Smoking"
Medal of French Bronze
Pierre Charles Lenoir, 1931
The Victoria & Albert Museum

By the 1930s, as the Art Deco style had become firmly entrenched in the arts, the style began to depict the many changes that were taking place in the post-war society.  Medals and plaquettes in bas relief were especially popular art forms—stripped of their original traditional and ceremonial meanings and assigned purely decorative properties.   This French plaque of bronze which was struck in 1931 depicts a half-dressed woman smoking a cigarette.  Not only does this show the growing acceptance of women smoking cigarettes, it suggests the increasing modernity and hedonistic approach to life which marked the era.

This uniface metal is the work of the French medalist Pierre Charles Lenoir (1879-1953). 

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