The Fellows of The Corning Museum of Glass are among the world’s leading glass collectors, scholars, dealers, and glassmakers. One of the objectives of this organization is to support the acquisitions program of the Museum’s Rakow Research Library. This drawing, entitled Daisy, was purchased with funds from the Fellows and added to the Museum’s collection.
Émile Gallé was passionate about nature, studying botany as a young man and writing extensively on the intersection between art and nature. To meet his high standards of design and production, Gallé filled his workshop with talented artists who sketched out his ideas in detailed drawings and watercolors, which Gallé would then create in materials as diverse as glass, wood and metal. Paul Nicolas, a young architect from Vosges, France, who joined Gallé’s firm in 1893, was one of these talented draughtsman. Nicolas, like Gallé, was interested in botanical forms, and his designs on paper elegantly capture the curving grace of a bent stem, the delicate striations of color on a carnation, and the beauty of an unopened bud. The Rakow Library recently acquired six watercolors executed by Nicolas, possibly designs for enameled or cameo glass. All of the drawings were done just prior to the 1900 Paris exhibition, where Nicolas earned a bronze medal for his work for Gallé.