I've always liked room screens. In fact, one of my life's dreams is to own at least one. And when I was younger, I dreamed of a studio apartment because that was the only way I could conceive of why you would need a screen as a room divider. (I grew up in a rural area--I might have romanticized the idea of a studio a bit.) Now, I just try and make excuses to find one to separate my messy desk from the rest of our living room.
If I could have these room screens, by Jean Dunand and Séraphin Soudbinine, I would be a very happy woman. Seeing as it's located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I don't think I'll be able to acquire it any time soon. It was made for Solomon Guggenheim, further confirming my inability to every own it, or its equal.
Dunand was a French Art Deco artist, and pretty much considered the master of lacquer in his time. He also managed to incorporate eggshells into his work, which I find to be pretty awesome. These are a set titled "Pianissimo and Fortissimo" Pianissimo is on the left, Fortissimo is on the right. They were made for the music room--makes sense, right?
I love the stylized figure, the curling cloud-like forms, and the stylized buildings, or pilings, or whatever they are. I'm not sure what they are supposed to be, but according to the page on the Met's website, they are stylized rocks. I just love how sumptuous lacquer looks. Shiny, rich, warm, and gorgeous. It's an intense process, but Dunand was a master of it. His inclusion of mother of pearl and eggshells on the screens highlights the shimmering aspects of the lacquer, adding depth to already rich panels.